Motorola Mobility And Apple Agree on FRAND Licenses In Germany

Motorola Mobility and Apple have agreed on FRAND licensing for several pieces of Motorola technology. The agreement came about after Apple filed suit against Motorola, claiming that the company would not provide reasonable patent licensing fees.

By accepting the FRAND agreement which Apple calls “fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory” the tech firm will pay Motorola for all previous uses of Motorola’s patented technology.

The win is a big step forward for Apple after the company refused to pay Motorola a 2.25 percent revenue rate as part of a non-FRAND patent structure.

A German court will now determine how much money Apple owes to Motorola for userof Motorola Mobility based patents on prior iPad and iPhone devices.

The decision mimics a similar judgement handed down by a Wisconsin judge who found that Motorola was over-charging for patent licenses that should have been FRAND-eligible.

Motorola hasn’t exactly come out the loser in Germany, the company recently won a ban on push email on Apple devices in Germany. Motorola claimed Apple was taking advantage of a non-standard Motorola patent, a claim Apple tried to have invalidated.

The move to accept FRAND licensing marks a turning point for Motorola. In the past the mobility firm has tried unsuccessfully to defend its patents in various court cases.

Motorola may have settled the Germany patent case to ease troubles the company is facing in its ongoing European Commission investigation regarding the company’s abuse of standards-essential patents licensing to Apple.

According to analyst Florian Mueller:

“The full extent of the license has yet to be revealed, and may only cover wireless transmission rather than all of Motorola’s claimed patents (such as the H.264 video codec), but the acceptance of Apple’s offer without demanding a license to any of Apple’s non-FRAND patents represents a change in policy — and, if Motorola will now begin to adhere to its FRAND license obligations, potentially a larger victory for Apple and other companies.”

Do you think the days of patent strongholds are drawing to a close?