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Friday, November 16, 2012, 12:23 pm PT (03:23 pm ET)

Apple-Motorola patent dispute may be settled through arbitration

Apple and Google subsidiary Motorola are said to be considering arbitration in an attempt to settle their ongoing patent infringement litigation.

Details of the preliminary discussions were revealed in a court filing highlighted by Bloomberg on Friday. The two companies have reportedly been exchanging proposals in which they would enter binding arbitration to reach a licensing agreement over standards essential patents.

Apple said in a filing that an agreement through arbitration could lead to a global settlement between the two companies. Google has also indicated it would prefer to see a global solution, not piecemeal.

Apple's filing stated that the company "agrees that arbitration may be the best vehicle to resolve the parties' dispute."

Last month, Apple also indicated to the Wisconsin court that it is willing to pay Google-owned Motorola Mobility no more than $1 per iPhone sold to license standard-essential patents. The iPhone maker told the court that if it set a FRAND rate at or below $1, Apple would take a license and start paying Motorola immediately.

Motorola


The rate Apple has said it is willing to pay is significantly lower than the 2.25 percent of Apple's sales that Motorola seeks for standard-essential patents. Mueller, an intellectual property expert, said he doesn't expect Motorola to "ever" receive a payout that large.

Talk of a settlement suggests that Apple could be working to settle another high-profile patent infringement suit. Just last weekend, Apple and HTC publicly announced they had settled all of their patent litigation out of court and agreed to a 10-year licensing deal.

The largest outstanding dispute for Apple remains with its chief rival, Samsung. One executive for the company signaled this week that they have no plans to settle with Apple as HTC did.

It has been said that HTC likely agreed to pay Apple between $6 and $8 for each handset it sells as part of a net licensing deal. Analyst Shaw Wu said this week that the HTC agreement could serve as a blueprint for a future deal with Motorola.