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Old 02-03-2012, 01:50 PM   #1
ProfCrash
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Patent Wars take 100: Motorola makes Apple pull iPads and iPhones in Germany

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-16871075

"The sales ban relates to Motorola's patent for a "method for performing a countdown function during a mobile-originated transfer for a packet radio system".

Motorola licenses the patent to other companies on Frand (fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory) terms.

Frand-type patents involve technologies that are deemed to be part of an industry standard. In this case Motorola's innovation is deemed crucial to the GPRS data transmission standard used by GSM cellular networks across the world.

Companies must offer Frand-type patents for a reasonable fee to anyone willing to pay.

Apple has said it would be willing to pay the fee going forward, but the two firms dispute how much Apple should pay for failing to license the technology up until now. Missed payments are not covered by the "reasonable" rule, and Motorola would be able to demand a more expensive price.

Apple said: "While some iPad and iPhone models are not available through Apple's online store in Germany right now, customers should have no problem finding them at one of our retail stores or an authorised reseller.

"Apple is appealing this ruling because Motorola repeatedly refuses to license this patent to Apple on reasonable terms, despite having declared it an industry standard patent seven years ago."

Motorola said it had offered Apple "reasonable licensing terms and conditions" since 2007.

"We are pleased that the Mannheim court has recognized the importance of our intellectual property and granted an enforceable injunction in Germany against Apple Sales International," a statement said.

Apple's iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 are all affected - but not its newer iPhone 4S. All 3G models of the iPad are involved, but not their wi-fi-only counterparts."
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Old 02-03-2012, 02:02 PM   #2
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Old 02-03-2012, 03:12 PM   #3
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I thought I saw that this was reversed in Apple favor again.
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Old 02-03-2012, 03:14 PM   #4
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I thought I saw that this was reversed in Apple favor again.
Yep. clicky
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Old 02-03-2012, 03:23 PM   #5
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Patent 2: Electronic Boogaloo.

This is getting entertaining.
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Old 02-03-2012, 03:29 PM   #6
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I was just coming to post:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-16877438

An appeals court lifted the ban after Apple made a new licence payment offer.

However, Germany-based users may still face the loss of their push email iCloud service after a separate ruling.

Patent consultant Florian Mueller, who attended the review, said that the suspension may only last a few days or weeks - but that Apple's revised proposal had been enough to allow it to restart sales.

"The Karlsruhe higher regional court believes that Apple's new offer needs to be evaluated before this injunction can enter into force again," he wrote on his blog.

"A suspension like this is available only against a bond, but Apple is almost drowning in cash and obviously won't have had a problem with obtaining and posting a bond."

He said that the bond amount was likely to have been about 120m euros ($158m, £100m).
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Old 02-03-2012, 08:17 PM   #7
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Over the last few decades, many (most) large companies used their portfolio of patents to trade with other large companies: you can use my patents if I can use yours. Apple has been more active with their patents, both in the original Mac/Windows days and now with the iPhone.

I predict, however, that Motorola, Samsung, Sony, et. al. will prove to have enough intellectual property to force Apple into cross-licensing.
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Old 02-04-2012, 06:12 AM   #8
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Why there is such a difference between some patents and others. If no patents needed to be shared there wouldn't be Apple selling iPhones at all... Just tells how stupid the system is, the hard working companies are forced to share and the riders with junk can reap the benefit...
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Old 02-04-2012, 09:53 AM   #9
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I gotta say, I really don't see this as an example of the horrors of patents.

There are apparently two patents here. The one in the BBC article is fairly specific, it's a recognized patent, Apple is just balking at paying. Newer iPhones aren't affected by this, because they use different chips.

The second patent is a bit more general, as it relates to push email. It's an older patent and only applies to a specific service that only a handful of users employ.

The courts overturned the injunctions as well, so it's unlikely these disputes will wind up affecting the public. Shudder gasp.
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Old 02-04-2012, 10:11 AM   #10
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To my knowledge the injunctions haven't been overturned but only temporarily suspended.
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Old 02-04-2012, 10:17 AM   #11
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To my knowledge the injunctions haven't been overturned but only temporarily suspended.
I think that's right...they were just stayed pending appeal.
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Old 02-05-2012, 02:05 PM   #12
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If Apple was reasonable in competing with Android then most likely the members of the open handset alliance would be willing to cross license their patents, but Apple doesn't want to compete against Android they want to eliminate it, so f them.
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Old 02-06-2012, 12:28 AM   #13
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Doggone it.
I wish I owned a few patents so I could shake Apple's tree too!
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