Apple sues Motorola in federal court over patent claims in Germany

Apple brought suit against Motorola Mobility in the US District Court for the Southern District of California on Friday seeking an injunction to stop Motorola from bringing patent claims against Apple in Germany. Motorola's suit in Germany is over patent no. 6,359,898. Apple contends that Motorola's German suit violates a licensing agreement between Motorola and Qualcomm. Apple argues that as a customer of Qualcomm it is a third-party beneficiary of the licensing agreement, thus Motorola's right to assert patent claims is exhausted. In the suit, Apple argues that Motorola, which is set to be acquired by Google, is violating its promise to license essential patents on "fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory" terms and is attempting to halt sales of the iPhone 4S. Many commentators have expressed concern over Google's acquisition of Motorola's vast patent portfolio, which includes patent on 4G and 3G technologies, but Google has made assurances that it will license its patents fairly and cap licensing fees at 2.25% of the sale price of each phone.

Apple is involved in litigation all over the world over smart phones and related technology. In December the USITC - US International Trade Commission narrowly ruled for Apple against HTC. Earlier that month, the European Commission for Competition announced that it would open an investigation into whether Apple colluded with publishers to increase the price of e-books. Also in December, the US District Court for the Northern District of California declined to issue a preliminary injunction against Samsung Electronics, as requested by Apple in its suit over Samsung's "Galaxy" line of products. In August more than 26,000 South Koreans joined a class action lawsuit against Apple for collecting users' data without their consent.

(Published by - February 11, 2012)

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