Apple sues Motorola in federal court over patent claims in Germany

[JURIST] Apple [corporate website; Bloomberg backgrounder] brought suit against Motorola Mobility [corporate website; Bloomberg backgrounder] in the US District Court for the Southern District of California [official website] on Friday seeking an injunction to stop Motorola from bringing patent claims against Apple in Germany. Motorola's suit in Germany is over patent no. 6,359,898 [text]. Apple contends that Motorola's German suit violates a licensing agreement between Motorola and Qualcomm [Reuters report]. Apple argues that as a customer of Qualcomm it is a third-party beneficiary of the licensing agreement, thus Motorola's right to assert patent claims is exhausted [The IP Law blog backgrounder]. In the suit, Apple argues that Motorola, which is set to be acquired by Google [corporate website; Bloomberg backgrounder], is violating its promise [Patently Apple report] to license essential patents on "fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory" terms and is attempting to halt sales of the iPhone 4S. Many commentators have expressed concern [Pando Daily report] over Google's acquisition of Motorola's vast patent portfolio, which includes patent on 4G and 3G technologies, but Google has made assurances that it will license its patents fairly and cap licensing fees at 2.25% of the sale price of each phone.

Apple is involved in litigation all over the world over smart phones and related technology. In December the US International Trade Commission (USITC) [official website] narrowly ruled for Apple [JURIST report] against HTC [corporate website; Bloomberg backgrounder]. Earlier that month, the European Commission for Competition [official website] announced that it would open an investigation [JURIST report] into whether Apple colluded with publishers to increase the price of e-books. Also in December, the US District Court for the Northern District of California [official website] declined to issue a preliminary injunction [JURIST report] against Samsung Electronics [corporate website; Bloomberg backgrounder], as requested by Apple in its suit over Samsung's "Galaxy" line of products. In August more than 26,000 South Koreans joined a class action lawsuit against Apple for collecting users' data without their consent [JURIST report].

 

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