Motorola and Apple Seeking Binding Arbitration to Settle Global Patent Fight

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There might be light at the end of the tunnel with the ongoing lawsuits between Apple and Motorola (Google). Apple and Motorola have applied for binding arbitration that wouldn’t just resolve the cases in the U.S, but worldwide. This is good news after a judge dismissed Apple’s FRAND lawsuit against Moto (yeah dismissed with kill -9) and could use a break from global court battles.

Essentially, I think Apple (and probably many tech companies) are getting tired of lawyers getting all their money while they sue the snot out of each other. Apple included this statement in the filing with the courts regarding binding arbitration:

“Apple is also interested in resolving its dispute with Motorola completely and agrees that arbitration may be the best vehicle to resolve the parties’ dispute,”

Similar sentiments are expressed by Motorola/Google:

“We have long sought a path to resolving patent issues and we welcome the chance to build on the constructive dialogue between our companies,” Google General Counsel Kent Walker said in a Nov. 13 letter to Apple that was filed with the court. “While we prefer to seek a framework for a global (rather than piecemeal) resolution that addresses all of our patent disputes, we are committed to reaching agreement on a license for our respective standard-essential patents.”

Don’t think, however, that all of this is just warm fuzzy, “can’t we all just get along” stuff. Google could be facing a big challenge if it doesn’t stop wielding Motorola Mobility “standard-essential” patents like Thor’s hammer on its foes:

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the European Commission are both investigating complaints by Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) and Apple that Motorola Mobility is misusing its standard-essential patents. The FTC staff has recommended filing a lawsuit against Google, according to four people familiar with the matter.

Yeah a case of “with great power, comes great responsibility”, because no one is saying that Google/Motorola don’t deserve money for licensing patents, but there is an issue of fairness here that some feel Google isn’t following.

If this goes through and arbitration succeeds, then it could be an example for other patent licensing cases to be resolved and tech companies could get back to making cool stuff we want to use.

Via: Bloomberg

HT: MacRumors

Photo handshake by buddawiggi from Flickr

If you didn’t know, kill is the *NIX command to stop a process. The -9 flag is like force quit. In school we used to call kill -9 “kill with impunity”.

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