A few days back, we wrote a story titled Google Wins EU, US Approval to Scoop Up Motorola and its Patents, in which we discussed that Motorola Mobility’s (NASDAQ:MMI) demand for a 2.25% royalty on iPhone sales related to a single patent involved with 3G/UMTS wireless standards cannot be termed as reasonable. Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) appealed that Motorola’s licensing agreements were unfair and did not follow the fair, reasonable and non discriminatory terms (FRAND).
Earlier this week, a court ruled that Motorola can’t enforce standard-essential patents against Apple in Germany.  This is a huge victory for Apple and a loss for Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), for which the U.S. department of Justice recently closed its investigation into its $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility.
Huge victory for Apple
Apple has always believed that Motorola had been illegally attempting to block sales of their products by leveraging patents that are obligated to be offered with fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) licensing. In our earlier note titled Google Promises EU Regulators it Will Play Nice While Motorola Goes After Apple, we discussed how Google’s promise to follow fair licensing for Motorola patents is questionable. With this victory, Motorola cannot enforce attempts to ban Apple’s iPhone and iPad products, which will help Apple maintain its momentum in the smartphone and tablet market.
Google the big loser
The main motivation behind Google’s acquisition of Motorola was the trove of patents that Motorola possesses. Patents have started to play an increasingly important role in the smartphone industry as companies jockey to build up their portfolio of patents. With an arsenal of patents, large companies can deter others from suing it for patent infringement. Google has lagged in this area and given the rising importance of its Android platform and the mobile boom, it needs these patents to protect its growth.
However, with Motorola losing the patent battle against Apple, it creates doubts whether Google’s acquisition of Motorola for $12.5 billion was worth the money or not.Notes:
- Motorola can’t enforce standard-essential patents against Apple in Germany while appeal is pending — huge victory for Apple, bad news for Google, FOSS Patents, February 27th, 2012 [↩]