With an ongoing court battle against Samsung on the West Coast, Apple recently asked the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington DC to renew a lawsuit against Motorola’s alleged unreasonable licensing fees for declared-essential cellphone technology. Apple counsel requested that the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit revive a lawsuit against Google’s Motorola Mobility over a FRAND contract, claiming the handset maker charged unreasonable rates for declared standard essential 3G cellular technology.
Apple lawyer Joshua Rosenkranz said the following in court regarding the matter:
You're talking about billions of dollars hanging over the head of Apple.
…demand[ed] that Apple take a license at a rate that was more than 12 times what Motorola was charging other licensees for the same technology—a rate that was unfair, unreasonable, and decidedly discriminatory.
It’s unclear how the ongoing lawsuit will affect Motorola Mobility’s future handlers at Lenovo after the Chinese company purchased the handset maker from Google in January for $2.91 billion. The acquisition, which is said to give Google a 6% stake in Lenovo as part of the deal, is currently awaiting regulatory approval. Google will also be holding on to “vast majority” of patents, but it’s not known if the batch includes those being asserted by Motorola in the present case.
With litigation issues going back to 2010, the two companies have faced off in court several times, including the somewhat controversial Apple vs. Motorola suit dismissed in 2012 by Judge Richard Posner. The CAFC heard arguments to reopen that case in September. Aside from the CAFC case, Apple and Motorola have a suit pending in Florida over separate claims as well. A trial is set to begin in August with the parties asserting a total of eight patents.
We’ll have to wait and see what happens.