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Apple Suit vs. Google Over Patent Rates Dismissed

Mon, 11/05/2012 - 4:53pm
PETER SVENSSON - AP Technology Writer - Associated Press

A federal judge on Monday threw out a suit by Apple Inc. claiming that Google subsidiary Motorola Mobility is seeking unreasonably high license fees for the use of patents on wireless technology.

The suit is part of a world-spanning battle between Apple and Google, whose Android software powers the smartphones that compete with Apple's iPhone. Google bought Motorola Mobility, a once pioneering maker of cellphones, this summer to gain control of its patents and gain leverage against Apple in its court battles.

In the suit filed last year, Apple said the license fee Motorola sought — of 2.25 percent of the price of devices that incorporate Motorola's patented technologies — was too high. The devices at issue include the iPhone and iPod Touch.

Motorola is obliged by standards-setting bodies to offer licenses at "reasonable" rates when the patents are part of industry standards like Wi-Fi and cellular technology. There are, however, various answers as to what constitutes a "reasonable" rate.

Judge Barbara Crabb in Madison, Wisconsin, did not give a reason for dismissing the suit.

Motorola spokeswoman Jennifer Weyrauch-Erickson said the company was pleased that the suit was dismissed.

"We remain interested in reaching an agreement with Apple," she said.

Apple representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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