Apple sues Motorola over licensing agreement with Qualcomm


Apple is suing Motorola over a patent licensing agreement the company soon to be acquired by Google holds with Qualcomm. The suit stems from a legal battle between the two parties currently being mulled by a German court. Motorola is suing Apple for infringement of European Patent No. 1 010 336 (U.S. Patent No. 6,359,898), but Apple’s suit filed with a district court in California claims that a previous licensing agreement between Motorola and Qualcomm entitles the Cupertino-based company as a third-party beneficiary. Apple uses Qualcomm MDM6610 baseband chip in the CDMA version of the iPhone 4S and is arguing that it’s agreement with the chipmaker includes fees for utilizing the licensed patent.

Apple is seeking to have the German lawsuit thrown out, as it sees the legal action as a breach of contract between the parties. In the view of Apple’s legal department, Motorola has exhausted its rights to the patent in both the US and Europe. Suing a company over a patent that they have cross-licensed as part of an agreement with a third party seems like a pretty big oversight on Motorola’s part, but that’s why we aren’t the ones rendering final judgement.

[via Reuters, TheNextWeb]

Kevin Krause
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  1. Can’t beat Apple’s $100 bil for legal expenses. 

  2. The solution is simple. Just make a new chip that is better.

    1. Easier said than done… legally speaking.

  3. So wouldn’t this only cover use in the CDMA radio, and not the GSM radio?

  4. These lawsuits are pretty childish. 

  5. If this is true then Motorola lawyers are really dumb. 

    1. Apple lost a major suit in Germany which says they owe Motorola a ton of money.  Apple is grasping at straws.  After all, only they are allowed to shake down other companies, not the other way around.

      1. U do realize that particular case against Apple was thrown out today by the courts in Mannheim? Be updated yo! The patent cases are moving at the speed of light

        1. 1 of 3 thrown out. 2 still standing strong. 

  6. I wonder how much of the 699 that the iPhone costs goes to these lawsuits.

  7. Kevin, it is not an oversight by Motorola.  It is a perversion in Apple’s interpretation. I think Apple is reaching for straws and I can’t believe you are that gullible to buy it. After all, the Jobs reality distortion field is gone.

    I would think that Apple would only be entitled to the third-part beneficiary benefit only on those devices that have the Qualcomm chip which are their CDMA devices.  However, I doubt that gives them the license on devices that do not contain that Qualcomm chip.  

    We all better hope that Apple loses this suit. Because the more wins the Android makers get against them, the more likely some cross-licensing deal will come about and end this madness.

    Remember, Apple is the company that thinks they are the only ones who have the right to build rectangular tablets.

    1. Exactly. The Verizon iPhone might be exempt, but the AT&T other are not. 

  8. Considering Apple has tons of cash to play with till kingdom come, this won’t end. And, as much as I hate to admit it, they are playing by the rules of the book. If Apple is right about Qualcomm’s deal with Motorola, Motorola just displayed utter stupidity.  U have to hate the game, not the players. 

  9. I barely understood any of that… could someone put it in layman’s term?

  10. I like how they’re suing in California in an effort to reverse a ruling in Germany over a patent licensing deal struck between Motorola and Qualcomm with nothing absolutely whatsoever to do with Apple. This is getting ridiculous. I take that back, this has been ridiculous for way too long and it’s getting worse.

    1. apple sues in Californian courts because they have some clout in CA.

    2. They have clout here as ‘Superior Android’ says and being a 3rd party beneficiary is actually a pretty good way to get out of this…I was really hoping that Moto had nailed Apple :(

  11. The people over at Apple need to get a new life and stop wasting time and money.

  12. The German suit does not cover the iPhone 4s, only the previous iPhones, and it’s GSM only, so this is a totally different case.

  13. Im getting sick of all these lawsuits articles…..perhaps just restrict it to a weekly update, since most of these articles aren;t that interesting unless they contain a verdict

  14. love it how everyone backs Android manufacturers for suing and attacks Apple for it. It’s all pointless whoever’s doing it. Apple were right about their “let’s not sue for stuff people actually need” letter

    1.  Actually I have to agree with you. I was over on macrumors (thinking about picking up a new 13″ pro) and saw this same article posted. I do notice some real truth to what youre saying….

      When these lawsuit articles started I saw alot of name calling and finger pointing from either side towards of each other. However nowadays I see more “these lawsuits are bad for the industry” from the apple guys but still the same “Haha, good I like when they sue apple” from our side.
      Cmon guys, take the high road, dont let them outclass us. Lawsuits of this type suck. period.

      1. I would agree with you, except Apple started this, by suing Samsung, trying to ban their products from Germany and Australia, trying to ban the importing of HTC phones to the U.S., etc.  So I for one am happy to see the Android community suing back, to give Apple a taste of their own bs medicine and to show we will not be intimidated.  

  15. You cant sue someone who uses the same chip. so b.s. of apple wants to destroy anything that stands in their way

  16. I haven’t read the actual claim or anything but from what I can gather from the article, Apple seems to be claiming that because they use a Qualcomm chip which probably grants them sublicense to use the Motorola patent, that means they can use that patent in their own other devices which don’t have the same Qualcomm chip?

    If my summary is right then I’m pretty sure any half-competent lawyer would not have granted Apple such a wide-ranging license in the first place and therefore can’t see this having much merit at all. Truly does seem to be a fine example of grasping at straws.

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