Motorola Mobility (NYSE:MMI) last year "demanded" that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) pay it a royalty fee of 2.25 percent on its iPhone and iPad sales, which would amount to billions of dollars. The situation provides yet another indication of the mobile patent brinksmanship on display among the world's smartphone makers.
According to a Wall Street Journal report, which cited a court document Motorola filed in federal court in California in January, Motorola demanded in an Oct. 17 letter that Apple pay it the royalty fee to license some of Motorola's wireless patents. A royalty fee of 2.25 percent would have cost Apple more than $1 billion in 2011 iPhone sales alone.
Both Apple and Motorola declined to comment, according to the Journal.
Smartphone makers have increasingly sought to assert their patent portfolios as a way to extract royalty payments--HTC, LG, Samsung and others are embroiled in such efforts. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), for example, has inked royalty agreements with numerous companies licensing Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android platform, including HTC, LG and Samsung. However, Microsoft hasn't inked a deal with Motorola, which Google is in the process of acquiring.
Companies instigate patent battles in order to generate revenues and potentially disrupt competitors' businesses. For instance, Motorola recently managed to get a German court to ban the sale of iPhones and iPads in that country, though Apple managed to get the action reversed within hours.
- see this FOSS Patents blog post
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)
- see this AllThingsD article
- see this ZDNet article
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