Apple and Motorola may settle part of patent dispute

Apple and Motorola Mobility, owned by Google, are seeking arbitration on part of their patent disputes. The two companies would agree to a binding arbitration in order to reach a licensing agreement over standards-essential patents. Motorola Mobility brought forward the possiblity of arbitration earlier this month. An agreemment between Apple and Motorola Mobility here could have wide-reaching implications for the global litigation between the two companies, as Susan Decker of Bloomberg reports:

The companies have been exchanging proposals on using binding arbitration to reach a licensing agreement over patents that are essential to comply with industry standards on how phones operate. Such an agreement could lead to a global settlement of all of their patent disputes, Apple said in a filing yesterday.

“Apple is also interested in resolving its dispute with Motorola completely and agrees that arbitration may be the best vehicle to resolve the parties’ dispute,” Apple said in the filing.

A settlement between Apple and Motorola may also have an effect on litigation with other companies. Apple continues to battle Samsung in many courts around the world, while Microsoft has made several complaints against Motorola. Because Motorola Mobility is owned by Google, and because of their use of FRAND patents in their litigation, the FTC staff recently recommended that the commission sue Google over antitrust violations in using these patents for litigation. If Apple and Motorola can agree to terms for these patents, then it’s possible that the FTC my back down. Should an agreement be reached, it seems likely that Motorola will be able to reach a settlement with Microsoft. If that happens, hopefully this global patent war will start to cool down.

Source: Bloomberg