updated 09:30 pm EST, Fri February 17, 2012
Apple takes Moto accusations to EU officials
Motorola in an SEC filing Friday said that Apple had formally complained to the European Commission that Motorola was allegedly violating the FRAND (fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory) terms around its 3G patents. The complained had been lodged the same day. Exact details of the complaint hadn't been mentioned.
The argument is likely to revolve around both how much Motorola wants for royalties as well as the reach of the patents. Motorola has asked for a 2.25 percent cut of the total price of an iPhone or a 3G iPad, which would be much higher than the license for the 3G chipset alone. On the scope of the patent, Apple has sued to prevent lawsuits relating to any cellular device it sells with a Qualcomm chip, arguing that a Motorola licensing deal with Qualcomm prevents it from charging Apple when it has already done the same for Qualcomm.
Commissioners haven't yet responded to the new challenge.
Apple may get its way. EU officials are already investigating Samsung for its behavior while trying to countersue Apple. The Korean company has based its defense almost exclusively on suing over 3G standards patents, which has led to concerns that it's not genuinely interested in fair licensing and instead hoping it could use them as bargaining chips to force a settlement.
Motorola's tactics have drawn enough concern that, while the US Department of Justice approved Google's acquisition of the phone builder, it was worried the company's bullish approach to suing others would be abused now that it would be under Google's wing.