Just breaking now: the federal judge due to start Apple’s FRAND lawsuit against Motorola Mobility today in Wisconsin has dismissed Apple’s case outright with prejudice. This is going to limit Apple’s options for appeals and other remedies.
FOSS Patent reports:
The dismissal follows an eventful pre-trial week. On Tuesday, wholly-owned Google subsidiary Motorola Mobility brought a “motion for guidance” that essentially demanded that Apple commit to a license deal on court-determined terms. Motorola Mobility generally opposed the idea of the court setting a FRAND rate and ordering Motorola to make Apple an offer on that basis, but at least it wanted to ensure that Apple would also be bound by the court’s determination, just like Microsoft had also committed, in a different case in another district, to a license deal.
According to FOSS Patent, things were going very well for Apple as the Judge Barbara B. Crabb seemed quite inclined to accept Apple’s request to strike a license deal with Motorola for its standard-essential wireless patents. But when Apple showed its willingness to not more than $1 per iPhone, the judge started to doubt Apple’s intention and instead decided to dismiss the case with prejudice.
Apple is likely to appeal the dismissal but Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents believes that Apple missed the opportunity:
Apple apparently felt that it had a very strong position because none of Motorola’s SEP assertions in the U.S. has succeeded so far. I still believe Apple should have seized this opportunity to have an SEP license agreement put in place with Motorola Mobility.