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Wednesday, March 20, 2013, 04:07 pm PT (07:07 pm ET)

Apple gets support from Microsoft and Intel in CAFC appeal of Motorola patent case

In two separate filings on Wednesday, Microsoft and Intel voiced their support of Apple in an appeal before the U.S. Federal Court of Appeals regarding the dismissal of a patent suit involving Google's Motorola.

While the amicus briefs are currently sealed, both companies throw support behind Apple, which is arguing that the FRAND-related section of Judge Richard A. Posner's June 2012 ruling stands despite having the case dismissed with prejudice.

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Google entered its initial filing with the CAFC last week, saying that Apple is an "unwilling licensee" and that Judge Posner's decision to "categorically" bar injunctive relief over standard essential patents was incorrect. The company went further, arguing that the ruling devalues SEPs as a whole by basing the FRAND value on the intrinsic value of the claimed inventions rather than post-standardization hold-up value, notes FOSS Patent's Florian Mueller.

As for Microsoft's amicus filing, the company's motion for leave to file claims particular issues Google is asserting to the court are "not properly before it":

Certain of the issues that Motorola asks this Court to address—including the proper method for valuing standard-essential patents and the availability of injunctive relief for infringement of such patents—although presented in other cases involving Motorola patents, including cases involving Microsoft, are not in fact presented in this appeal. Beyond that, the positions Motorola asks this Court to adopt are contrary to law and inimical to sound public policy. Microsoft, therefore, has a direct interest in ensuring that this Court not accept Motorola's invitation both to address matters not properly before it and to do so in a misguided, and potentially harmful, manner.

Finally, Research in Motion, now known as BlackBerry, filed an amicus brief in support of neither party. Instead, the company looked for consensus regarding the court's position on SEPs, posing the question, "Can injunctive relief ever be available to holders of standard-essential patents as a remedy for infringement?"