Wisconsin judge dismisses Apple v. Motorola patent case

The move came just hours before the trial was due to begin

A highly anticipated patent infringement case between Apple and Motorola Mobility was dismissed by a Wisconsin district court Monday, hours before the trial was due to begin.

The two companies were arguing over license rates for patents owned by Motorola that cover parts of the wireless UMTS, GPRS, GSM and 802.11 standards. The patents are vital parts of the technologies and so Motorola Mobility is required to license them to competitors on "fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms," often referred to by the acronym FRAND.

At issue was where the boundary lay between reasonable and unreasonable terms.

Last week Apple told the court it would pay up to $1 per device for a license to Motorola patents covering cellular and Wi-Fi technologies. Motorola Mobility was arguing for a royalty payment of 2.25 percent on each device.

However, Apple said that if the court found in Motorola's favor and instructed Apple to pay more than $1, Apple would pursue all possible appeals against the ruling.

The presiding judge in the case, U.S. District Court Judge Barbara Crabb, didn't take kindly to Apple's offer.

"At the final pretrial conference, I asked Apple to explain why it believed the court should determine a FRAND rate even though the rate may not resolve the parties' licensing or infringement disputes," Judge Crabb wrote in an order on Friday. "I questioned whether it was appropriate for a court to undertake the complex task of determining a FRAND rate if the end result would be simply a suggestion that could be used later as a bargaining chip between the parties."

"Apple responded that the rate would resolve the dispute in this particular case, namely, whether Motorola's license offer was FRAND and if not, what the rate should have been. Apple's response was not satisfactory and did not assuage my concerns about determining a FRAND rate that may be used solely as a negotiating tool between the parties," she wrote.

The two companies were given until Monday morning to persuade the court as to why the case should go ahead.

The minutes of the courtroom proceedings Monday indicate that Judge Crabb found "that case can not proceed to trial on remaining issue; case dismissed with prejudice." However, the judge's final ruling has not been published yet.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags AppleBarbara Crabbintellectual propertypatentlegalMotorola Mobility

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?