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Apple, Motorola file for opposing summary judgments in FRAND case

Both Apple and Motorola moved for summary judgments on Friday in a case involving the use of certain FRAND patents regarding wireless technology used in a number of 3G-capable iDevices.

The opposing claims were filed in the Western District of Wisconsin where Apple originally filed suit in March 2011 against Motorola over unfair FRAND licensing practices, reports FOSS Patents' Florian Mueller.

Although Friday's filings conflict, both companies are looking to speed up the case as it could have implications in other ongoing lawsuits currently underway in Illinois and Germany.

Motorola is seeking a summary judgment that, if successful, would dismiss most of Apple's claims, while the iPhone maker is looking to receive summary judgment on certain elements of its case that appear to be low-hanging fruit.

Besides the claims themselves almost everything pertaining to the case is sealed, though it can be gleaned from what is available that Motorola is looking to debunk Apple's case at its roots. The issues listed in Motorola's summary include the following:
  • Count I - Equitable Estoppel

  • Count II - Breach of Contract - ETSI/3GPP

  • Count III - Breach of Contract to Which Apple is a Third Party Beneficiary – ETSI/3GPP

  • Count IV – Breach of Contract to Which Apple is a Third Party Beneficiary – IEEE

  • Count V – False F/RAND Commitments and Deceptive Acts in Violation of Section 2 of the Sherman Act

  • Count VI – Unfair Competition and Unlawful Business Practices in Violation of Cal. Bus. & Prof Code para. 17200, et seq.

  • Count VII – Declaratory Judgment That Motorola's Offers have not been on F/RAND Terms

  • Count XI – Declaratory Judgment of No Entitlement to Injunctive Relief

  • Count XII – Declaratory Judgment of Patent Misuse

  • Count XIII – Interference with Contract

Mueller sums up the assertions by saying they are a "mix of contract, equitable and antitrust claims, and all of this is about Motorola's FRAND obligations, its alleged breach, and the effect this has on Motorola's patent enforcement." Some of these claims could entitle Apple to damages if Motorola is found to have breached its contract or broken FRAND practices.

Apple's filing involves a more focused agenda that concentrates on only a few points raised by Motorola. The summary states that Apple "moves for partial summary judgment to establish elements of its breach of contract, antitrust, unfair competition, and patent misuse claims." By calling attention to fewer issues in its summary judgment motion, the Cupertino, Calif., company will be able to discuss its case in more detail compared to Motorola's 13 claims.

On Monday, Judge Barbara B. Crabb called for opposition briefs to be handed in on May 30, after which the parties will be able to reply until June 11. A summary judgment hearing is expected to follow with a decision rendered soon after.