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Monday, December 12, 2011

Motorola Breaks Through Apple's FRAND Defense in Germany

In a development that potentially threatens to prevent Apple's European sales arm from selling 3G-enabled iPad and iPhone products, Motorola Mobility won an injunction against it in Germany. On the table was a key Motorola patent related to cellular data transmission, which is part of wireless data transmission standards that are obstructed by an agreement to license it on "fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory" (FRAND) terms.

Motorola claimed that Apple was infringing this patent, to which, Apple responded by putting up a FRAND defense (counter-accusing the patent-holder of not being fair/reasonable/non-discriminatory with licensing a patent that makes up an industry standard. The court ruling in Germany stated that raising a FRAND defense against standards-essential patent infringement claims could be a difficult proposition, and may force Apple to accept Motorola's licensing terms—FRAND or not—for "past infringement." Apple won similar FRAND defenses against Samsung, in the past, in other European countries such as The Netherlands and France.

Source: ars technica

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