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03.01.13

FRAND Challenged by CCIA Amid FRAND Pressure From Anti-Android Camp

Posted in Apple, Microsoft, Patents, RAND at 6:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

FRAND is the opposite of FRIEND

Love

Summary: Notable cases against Android (Apple and Microsoft tag-team maneuverers) face new challenges as opinion shifts against FRAND, the software patents tax trick

Pamela Jones has composed this post which provides a summary of some of the latest developments in the Motorola case, where Microsoft has been trying to use FRAND to its advantage against Android. Here is the latest:

We find out now what the additional evidence is that caused Judge James L. Robart in Seattle to reopen the November trial in Microsoft v. Motorola and to ask for further briefing on the Google-MPEG LA license. Motorola just informed [PDF] the Seattle court that it has accepted Microsoft’s August 2012 offer of payment for Motorola’s German patents. It attaches as Exhibit A the agreement [PDF] and a cover letter [PDF], Exhibit B, it sent to Microsoft’s German lawyer, saying it accepts the prior offer. Motorola tells Judge Robart, “These are the documents discussed at the telephonic conference with the Court on February 12, 2013.”

Apple, in the mean time, has been using FRAND against Android as well. Koh wishes to put a halt to this:

Judge Lucy Koh has asked both tech giants to put their latest smartphone patent case on hold while an appeals court reviews an earlier judgement.

Here is Jones’ reposted report, a “Report from the Apple v. Samsung II Markman Hearing.”

The Markman hearing in Apple v. Samsung II was Friday, the 21st. And now we are really entering the darkest part of the patent woods. It doesn’t get any more exasperatingly detailed than at a Markman hearing. But as usual with legal matters, the more you force yourself to examine the details, the more you get out of it and the more enjoyable it eventually becomes.

At the hearing, the presiding judge, the Hon. Lucy Koh, told the parties they have to narrow their cases against each other to 25 patent claims against 25 products, with more narrowing to come. And she asked if it would be wise to just table this case until the Federal Circuit rules on a pending appeal. Samsung told the judge it will, in fact, be offering a motion to do exactly that, but Apple piped up that it will oppose that motion.

Apple’s court win against Samsung has just been axed in half, so it’s a step in the right direction following the original travesty.

CCIA, quite helpfully, has meanwhile joined forces with some players who seek to limit the use of FRAND in litigation:

The CCIA and RIM Tell the FTC Banning Injunctions for FRAND Patents Can Make Smartphone Wars Worse

If the government wants to build a highway and your house is in the way of the highway, what happens?

Does the government come and tell you, “You have to move out and abandon the house. Sorry for the loss of the value of your house, but that’s life. The public interest comes ahead of your individual property rights.”

Is that how it works?

Of course not. The government may be able, under certain circumstances, to tell you to move in order to build the highway, but it has to *pay* you reasonable compensation. You don’t have to just gulp and swallow such a loss. Why? Because no one, not the government or anyone, has the right to rob you of your property rights. It’s your house. You paid money for it, and if they take it away to benefit the larger good, you should at least be paid compensation.

Well done, Groklaw, for useful analysis of all this. The press scarcely covers these issues.

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