Apple Tries to Revive Motorola Lawsuit

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As Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) lawsuit against Samsung pends on the West Coast, in a Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, Apple is looking to revive its lawsuit against Google Inc.’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Motorola Mobility Unit. The arguments were presented Tuesday, according to the court’s website. Apple alleges that it was overcharged for standard cell phone technology in violation of FRAND guidelines.

FRAND stands for fair, reasonable, and non-discrimination, a type of licensing for technology patents. Apple alleges that Motorola discriminates against the company in how much it charges it for the patented technology.

Apple has a history of lawsuits with Motorola going back to 2010, mostly over patents related to cellphone use. Apple has to use technology patented by Motorola for 3G; Motorola wants 2.25 percent of the cost of an iPhone, or approximately $12 per iPhone, for Apple to use the technology. Apple argues this is too much and that the company is charged more than other firms that use the same technology. Apple offered $1 per iPhone to end the lawsuit. Motorola refused the offer.

Motorola counter-argued that the company could charge different companies different rates without it being discrimination. When it purchased Motorola, Google inherited the lawsuit, but Motorola is the company named in the lawsuit.

Apple presented its case for a lawsuit on Tuesday morning to a three-judge panel. AppleInsider reports that Apple used the same argument from its July 2013 appeal — that opening argument alleges that Motorola was discriminating against Apple by charging it higher.

“Exploiting their reliance on those contractual obligations, Motorola persuaded the SSOs to adopt solutions that it now claims read on Motorola patents. Motorola then broke its FRAND commitment, demanding that Apple take a license at a rate that was more than 12 times what Motorola was charging other licensees for the same technology — a rate that was unfair, unreasonable, and decidedly discriminatory,” the argument says.

Apple and Motorola currently have another patent case pending in Florida, among other cases. Bloomberg’s report on the case quoted one of the judges overseeing the case, who commented on the high number of lawsuits between the two technology companies.

“I don’t understand what any of you are doing,” circuit judge Kimberly Moore said, per Bloomberg. “Why are you suing each other in 15 different courts? I don’t think even you can keep track of which patent is in which court.”

The European Commission sent Motorola a formal list of complaints regarding its patent litigation and enforcement in March 2013, reports CNET. It also issued a statement that said the company had leveraged its market position unfairly against Apple. Apple had fired a complaint against Motorola in the European courts at the time.

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