Apple and Motorola talks tried to get all Android OEMs off the patent hook

Mar 13, 2012
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Apple and Motorola talks tried to get all Android OEMs off the patent hook

Apple and Motorola Mobility held late-2011 patent licensing talks that could have benefited all Android device manufacturers in the aftermath of the Google acquisition, it's been revealed, "different in scope" from previous negotiations. The talks were "concerning a potential cross-licensing settlement ... in the event that the Google/Motorola Mobility transaction is closed" according to a newly published document [pdf link] by the European Commission.

'From the information available to the Commission, this option envisaged a cross- licence [sic] possibly to the benefit of all Android OEMs but also with mutual carve-outs" the document suggests. "This kind of cross-licence [sic] would be different in scope from that which might have been concluded by Motorola Mobility prior to the transaction."

Exactly what was being negotiated is not confirmed, however, though a possibility is that Motorola Mobility hoped to get Apple to license its technology to Google directly, rather than to each individual Android OEM. That could mean the OEMs could have been liberated from each having to ink patent deals with Apple, being instead covered by Google's umbrella agreement.

It would appear, though, that the talks didn't derail either company's taste for litigation. Motorola managed to temporarily secure an injunction against Apple's iOS products in Germany, while Apple demanded an antitrust investigation into Motorola over claims it had misused standards-essential FRAND patents.

[via Bloomberg]


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