Motorola Mobility agreed to license its standards-essential patents in Germany to Apple, according to a filing on Monday (via FossPatents). In the deal, which chiefly includes cellular standard-essential patents, Apple agreed that it is legally responsible for past damages in connection to the patents. The timeframe for the treaty’s conception is unknown at the moment, with both firms also neglecting to reveal royalty rates in the paperwork. However, the courts in Germany could determine those rates based on FRAND policies. The admittedly biased, for-hire blogger Florian Mueller explained:
In a filing made late on Monday (August 27, 2012) with the United States District Court for the Southern District of California, the Google subsidiary has now confirmed the recent conclusion of a standard-essential patent license agreement with Apple. Under the agreement, Apple is now licensed to use some if not all of Motorola’s standard-essential patents in Germany, though the parties have not yet agreed on a FRAND royalty rate, which will ultimately have to be set by German courts unless they agree on a rate prior to its judicial determination.
Motorola Mobility is a subsidiary of Google, which is Apple’s Android-developing arch nemesis in the mobile world, so it is interesting that the duo could reach an agreement. It makes one wonder if Samsung’s epic loss to Apple in the recent California-based patent trial has lawyers thinking settle rather than fight. While this most recent compromise is an indication that Motorola Mobility is taking the safer route, it could also be a sign that bloodshed over patents is coming to an end.
Apple was forced to cut German iCloud email push notifications because of the patents in questions. It will be interesting to see if Apple is allowed to turn on that feature again for German users.
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