Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 13th Feb 2012 19:26 UTC
In the News The first big hurdle has been taken by Google and Motorola Mobility. The European Union has given the green light for Google to proceed with its acquisition of Motorola Mobility. The EU will, however, monitor the deal and its outcome for potential patent abuse. Update: And there we go, the US DoJ has approved the deal as well. Update II: The just-linked DoJ report also approves the Nortel patent sale to Apple, Microsoft, and RIM. I'm hoping for lots of fireworks here so the patent system blows up in Google's, Microsoft's and Apple's faces, so we can point and laugh about all the money they wasted.
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RE: Huh?
by cfgr on Mon 13th Feb 2012 21:33 UTC in reply to "Huh?"
cfgr
Member since:
2009-07-18

I'm confused: why would non-standards patent abuse be more concerning than standards patent abuse?


Because actual non-standards patent abuse is more concerning than potential standards patent abuse. Don't leave out the details.

The first is already happening, the latter may happen but is not yet the case - at least when talking about Google/Motorola, Samsung's actions against Apple is another case but that's up for the courts to decide.

Edited 2012-02-13 21:36 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Huh?
by jared_wilkes on Mon 13th Feb 2012 21:50 in reply to "RE: Huh?"
jared_wilkes Member since:
2011-04-25

That seems to be a matter of your opinion. I would say that both Samsung and Motorola are abusing FRAND-mandatory standards patents now. In fact, one IS being investigated right now actively for antitrust abuse of FRAND standards patents. The other probably would be if not for the potential merger stalling the matter.

Edited 2012-02-13 21:56 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 0

RE[2]: Huh?
by majipoor on Mon 13th Feb 2012 23:05 in reply to "RE: Huh?"
majipoor Member since:
2009-01-22

Motorola did get an injunction for a FRAND patent in Germany and they actually did use it to block iPhone sales. Apple has appealed then and the injunction has been put on hold, but abuse over FRAND patents by Motorola is happening right now.

Apple also get some injunctions agains Samsung for non-standard patents and Samsung just had to modify slightly the design of their tablet and their UI layer to work around the patent.

Abuse of standards patents are clearly more concerning because they are unavoidable and there's is no workaround.

Oh, BTW, the EU commission is only in charge of anti-trust issues and only standards patents are subject to anti-trust law.

Edited 2012-02-13 23:11 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: Huh?
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 13th Feb 2012 23:09 in reply to "RE[2]: Huh?"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Motorola did get an injunction for a FRAND patent in Germany and they actually did use it to block iPhone sales. Apple has appealed then and the injunction has been put on hold, but abuse over FRAND patents by Motorola is happening right now.


Well, assuming the courts are right (always debatable), it would appear that Motorola's patent was NOT abuse - else an injunction would never have been granted AND upheld.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Huh?
by cfgr on Tue 14th Feb 2012 01:52 in reply to "RE[2]: Huh?"
cfgr Member since:
2009-07-18

Motorola did get an injunction for a FRAND patent in Germany and they actually did use it to block iPhone sales. Apple has appealed then and the injunction has been put on hold, but abuse over FRAND patents by Motorola is happening right now.


I was not aware of the Motorola-Apple case in Germany, though I could have guessed it. That just shows how screwed up the whole patent system has become, it's basically a free for all deathmatch with the customer as ultimate loser, due to either monopolies or licence fees.

But still, I find suing someone over some joke patent a lot more dangerous than suing someone over a FRAND patent. If Nokia/Motorola/Samsung were unfair in their requirements, then the court will decide against them, but at least there went some research in those FRAND patents. Can anyone tell me what kind of research it took to come up with some rounded rectangle design or a "slide to next photo" animation? I bet those ideas took less than 30 seconds to come up with, and the implementation about half an hour along with some parameter tweaking.

Here is how it goes in pretty much every small project/company:
Developer 1: "check this animation to go to the next photo, looks cool right?"
Developer 2: "goes a bit too fast and maybe it should be dragged a bit further before it switches, let's fine-tune it."

And if they're working for a big company:
Manager: "looks nice guys, let's patent it."

Edited 2012-02-14 01:59 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: Huh?
by JAlexoid on Tue 14th Feb 2012 10:30 in reply to "RE[2]: Huh?"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

abuse over FRAND patents by Motorola is happening right now

And Apple abused the same process the other way around, thus failed to prevent a permanent injunction. They were of the opinion that they can infringe on the patent because Motorola would have had to license it to them in any case, and got hit with an injunction for that.
That is a legal and binding court opinion, not your interpretation.

There are also reports that they want to have a non-reasonable licensing agreement.


Oh, BTW, the EU commission is only in charge of anti-trust issues and only standards patents are subject to anti-trust law.

That is not true. Patents are tools of market, therefore are subject to anti-trust law as any other tool is.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Huh?
by Tony Swash on Tue 14th Feb 2012 10:48 in reply to "RE: Huh?"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

"I'm confused: why would non-standards patent abuse be more concerning than standards patent abuse?


Because actual non-standards patent abuse is more concerning than potential standards patent abuse. Don't leave out the details.

The first is already happening, the latter may happen but is not yet the case - at least when talking about Google/Motorola, Samsung's actions against Apple is another case but that's up for the courts to decide.
"

Actually Motorola is actively abusing FRAND patents to use against Apple, apparently with Google's blessing. See here

http://fosspatents.blogspot.com/2012/02/motorola-wants-225-of-apple...

What Motorola did was submit one of it's patents to be included in a FRAND regulated standard, then once it was in the FRAND framework licensed that patent to Qualcomm for inclusion in components it makes for third parties, agree that Qualcomm would cascading that licence to any third party purchasers of the component and then, in retrospect, turned around and withdrew the Qualcomm cascaded patent just for Apple and against the wishes of Qualcomm and demanded that Apple 2.5% of its total sales revenues for items containing that component to Motorola. This a classic case of FRAND abuse. I will be astonished if it stands up in court and if the EU don't take action. Motorola took the action in the one legal system (German) where Apple's refusal to pay the 2.5% could result in a product injunction.

My reading of all this is that it is a sign of how weak Motoral's position in relation to the patent disputes with Apple and other is, it's a sign of desperation.

Here is analysis of Google's position on all this.

http://fosspatents.blogspot.com/2012/02/google-tells-european-commi...

http://fosspatents.blogspot.com/2012/02/two-more-huge-loopholes-ide...

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: Huh?
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 14th Feb 2012 10:50 in reply to "RE[2]: Huh?"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

You may very well be right, but you'll need more than Mueller for that. He's paid by Microsoft, so not to be trusted.

Three links to that shill doesn't do your case any good, I'm afraid.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Huh?
by JAlexoid on Tue 14th Feb 2012 12:16 in reply to "RE[2]: Huh?"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

What Motorola did was submit one of it's patents to be included in a FRAND regulated standard, then once it was in the FRAND framework licensed that patent to Qualcomm for inclusion in components it makes for third parties, agree that Qualcomm would cascading that licence to any third party purchasers of the component and then, in retrospect, turned around and withdrew the Qualcomm cascaded patent just for Apple and against the wishes of Qualcomm and demanded that Apple 2.5% of its total sales revenues for items containing that component to Motorola. This a classic case of FRAND abuse.


There is only 1 mistake there, it's Samsung you are thinking about, not Motorola. The Qualcomm issue is exactly why EU started an investigation into Samsung's dealings.
The 2.25% is what Motorola is asking for iPhone3Gs and iPhone4, but again it's already in court. Numbers submitted to court are always inflated.
Apple now has a license to Moto's FRAND patents for iPhone4s via Infineon.

Reply Parent Score: 2