updated 12:00 pm EST, Mon January 23, 2012
Apple wants ex parte discovery of Ericsson patents
Apple on Friday is now known to have called on information from Ericsson to help defend against Motorola's patent lawsuits in the US and Germany. An ex parte request for discovery is asking Ericsson whether or not it has a license to the same Motorola patents that are being used to sue Apple. The requests would be used primarily in German courts, where Apple has so far lost to Motorola.
The firm says it has met all the proofs and demands to make a request for foreign information, including narrowing the scope to the Ericsson and Motorola deals.
The motion is likely to use the same argument of patent exhaustion that has helped Apple elude bans in Europe so far. Apple might argue that Ericsson is already paying Motorola's license demands and that any parts the iPhone and other devices use from Ericsson would be exempt from an attempt to double-dip on royalties.
Motorola is one of the few companies embroiled in countering, Android-related lawsuits with Apple to have had much success. Samsung has had bans overturned, but it and HTC have mostly seen bans handed out against them while Apple escapes largely unscathed.