Apple offers to pay Google $1 per deviceThe patent wars continue to wage on all around the world. It’s been a little while since Samsung and Apple had their day in court, and while that skirmish is far from over it is now time for Motorola and Apple to enter the courtroom.
Motorola feels that Apple is infringing on several FRAND patents that have to do with how every smartphone in existence connects to WiFi and cellular networks. Since Apple makes smartphones, and Google is looking to use their newly acquired Motorola as a weapon, the two companies are only a few days away from the courtroom. Apple has placed an offer in a filing to the US District Court of $1 per device moving forward, and I have a hard time believing Google/Motorola will accept.
Motorola’s original request in their filing to the courts was for $2.25 per device. Aside from the actual dollar amount, Motorola is interested in licensing based on all Apple devices that infringe on these patents, not just the devices that are released after the court order. Given the popularity of Apple’s mobile devices, even at $1 per device that number is staggering. Apple’s reasoning for offering a dollar seems to stem from the deals they have with other organizations. In the filing, Apple notes that Motorola’s asking price is “orders of magnitude more” than Apple pays for other patent portfolios it requires to meet certain standards.
It seems like the core of the argument to come is entirely based on how much money Apple should be giving Motorola for these patents, and at what point Apple should be responsible for paying. Motorola has an opportunity here to allow the court to order Apple to pay $1 per device moving forward and be done with the case entirely. If Motorola pursues the case and the court issues a per device rate that is higher than Apple’s offer, Apple promises to pursue all possible appeals to avoid paying more than $1. Motorola could end this quickly, or watch as Apple drags this out for what could be years.
It’s unclear how the Google-controlled Motorola plans to address this, but it seems unlikely they would accept an offer that is less than half of what was initially demanded. Next week, when the two companies meet in court in Wisconsin, Motorola will demonstrate that their patents are essential to the functionality of Apple’s devices. Apple’s offer makes it clear they accept Motorola’s patents are valid, so now it’s just a squabble over their value.