The Patent War: Motorola’s Uphill Battle against Apple

27 Aug

In a sense, Apple’s recent patent victory over Samsung, in which the latter is forced to pay a total of 1.05 billion USD worth of damages, indicates something much larger than the potential banning of the Korean company’s portable devices. Looking at the array of infringements that Samsung was accused of, and taking into account Apple’s known grudge towards Android’s operating system, it appears that it would only be a matter of time before Google, along with a variety of other Android-based smartphone companies out there, begins to intensify its defensive efforts.

Earlier this month, Motorola Mobility—one of Google’s subsidiary companies- took the initiative by filing another patent infringement case against the Cupertino giant. The patented features that were supposedly copied, according to Bloomberg Businessweek, include the voice-recognition assistant, email notification system, location reminders, and phone media player. It is reported that Motorola aims to have the imports of a large variety of Apple products banned in addition to seeking damages from the patents that were infringed.

At this point, one interesting question to ponder on is whether Motorola’s patent victory will provide the necessary boost for Android’s system in general. Around a year ago, Apple landed a major patent victory over Motorola when it was deemed that excessive royalties were exercised on the latter’s industry standard patents. As those patents were believed to qualify under the FRAND agreement (Fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory), the court perceived Motorola to be abusing its licensing rights, thus ruling in favor of the Cupertino giant. Apple Insider and Insider Monkey reported that the win played a major role in weakening Google’s status by relinquishing the internet company’s power over Motorola’s standard essential patents.

Regarding the current patent trial, the court has already ruled that Apple did not infringe three of Motorola’s patents. While the other four patents have yet to be decided upon, some appear doubtful that a win would generate enough of a momentum for Google in the intellectual property department. It is believed that, in the future, Android supporters such as Sony could eventually begin joining Google and Motorola when it comes to cross-licensing issues with Apple.

With Samsung currently out of the legal battles picture, a lot of the spotlight is certain to be put on the back-and-forth battle between Motorola and the Cupertino tech giant. Motorola’s loss will not necessarily advance Apple’s position by a significant amount, but it will certainly serve as another blow towards Google’s hold against Apple.

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