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Apple to appeal dismissal of federal FRAND suit against Motorola

Coming on the heels of Google's agreement with the FTC, Apple on Friday filed a notice of appeal with a Wisconsin district court over its FRAND-related suit against Motorola, a case that was previously dismissed after the Cupertino company agreed to licensing terms laid out by the court.

While the filing itself is terse and reveals little of Apple's strategy, FOSS Patents' Florian Mueller notes the appeal could adversely affect Google's Motorola following Thursday's FTC consent order that bars the internet giant from seeking injunctive relief if FRAND rate-setting litigation is pending.

If Apple's appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit is successful, the Motorola suit would likely be remanded to the Wisconsin district court from which it was dismissed in November.

Court Order

Apple v. Motorola FRAND trial dismissal order from December.
Source: U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin

Presiding Judge Barbara B. Crabb cancelled the trial on the day it was set to begin as the jurist was leery about the need for proceedings already prepared for by both parties and the court. Originally, Apple agreed to license Motorola's properties if the court-determined fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms set a royalty rate below one dollar per device.

The company also suggested the court set a similar rate for Apple's declared standard-essential patents based on the same principles. At the time, Motorola also argued that Apple's concessions would allow the company to later refuse to pay Apple royalties for standard essential patents.

Mueller points out that if Apple's appeal to the CAFC does not succeed, the company may be able to file a new FRAND determination action which would effectively bar Google from pursuing injunctive relief.