Google to promise fair licensing for Motorola patents
Google is reportedly preparing a letter to standards organizations to reassure them that it will license Motorola Mobility's patents on reasonable terms if their planned merger closes.
The letter, which is expected to be sent in the next 24 hours, will promise that the company intends to license Motorola's patent portfolio in accordance with FRAND, or fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory terms, people familiar with the letter told Bloomberg. The move is a timely one: European regulators are expected to decide the fate of the two companies' $12.5 billion merger by next week.
"Since we announced our agreement to acquire Motorola Mobility last August, we've heard questions about whether Motorola Mobility's standard-essential patents will continue to be licensed on FRAND terms once we've closed this transaction. The answer is simple: they will," a Google spokesperson told CNET.
Meanwhile, Apple has reportedly sent a letter to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute, asking that the standards body to create basic guidelines regarding how member companies license their patents. In the letter, Apple said the telecommunications industry lacks consistent patent licensing plans and offered suggestions for appropriate royalty rates, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Motorola has mixed it up with Apple in several courtrooms around the world, but the two recently clashed over patents in Germany, forcing the company to temporarily remove older iPhones from its online store in that country. The court later granted Apple a temporary halt on the ban.
Google announced its plans to buy Motorola in August for $12.5 billion. Google, which makes the mobile operating system Android, said it plans to run Motorola as a separate company. Google has said it is interested in the troubled cell phone maker mainly for its strong patent portfolio. Google and many of its handset partners that use the Android operating system have been fending off several lawsuits in the last few years for possible patent infringement.