CAFCLast week, the Federal Circuit granted a motion by Microsoft for permission to file an amicus brief in the Apple-Motorola appeal (No. 12-1548, Judge Posner edition).  Microsoft then filed its amicus brief, becoming the latest in a long time of companies (see, e.g., here, here, here, and here) to weigh in on the case.  Today, the public version of Microsoft’s brief became available.  In it, Microsoft supports Apple and Judge Posner, but cautions the Federal Circuit against making an overly broad ruling and deciding issues related to standard-essential patents and RAND licensing obligations that are not present before the court.

[2013.06.04 Microsoft Amicus Brief (12-1548)]

Microsoft pulls no punches — it argues at the outset that Motorola’s positions “are wrong as a legal matter and terrible as a policy matter.”  That should come as no surprise, given Microsoft’s current litigation disputes with Motorola (as well as ongoing competition with its parent company, Google).  But Microsoft claims that its interest in this case goes far beyond its adversarial relationship with Motorola, arguing that as an active participant in many SSOs and implementer of many standards, Microsoft wants to ensure that standards are broadly implemented for the benefit of the public.

Continue Reading Microsoft amicus brief supports Apple, cautions Federal Circuit about breadth of ruling in Apple-Motorola appeal

In a post yesterday, we discussed Nokia’s amicus brief submitted “in support of neither party” in the Apple-Motorola FRAND Federal Circuit appeal (Judge Posner edition).  The amicus brief recently filed by BlackBerry (formerly Research In Motion) is now public, and it is very similar to Nokia’s — at least when it comes to the issue of the availability of injunctive relief.  While not expressly supporting Motorola, BlackBerry echoes Motorola’s (as well as Nokia’s) argument that injunction relief should not be categorically precluded for FRAND-encumbered standard-essential patents.

[2013.05.07 BlackBerry Amicus Brief]

Coincidentally, BlackBerry also now finds itself on the receiving end of a new patent infringement complaint from Canadian non-practicing entity Wi-LAN, which is based on BlackBerry’s alleged infringement of a patent that Wi-LAN claims is essential to the ETSI 3GPP Long-Term Evolution (LTE) telecommunications standard.

Continue Reading BlackBerry files amicus brief supporting availability of SEP injunctions in Fed Circuit FRAND appeal (and also gets sued by Wi-LAN for LTE patent infringement)

CAFCEarlier this week, both Nokia and BlackBerry (formerly Research In Motion) were both granted leave to file amicus briefs with the Federal Circuit in the Apple v. Motorola appeal of Judge Posner’s June 2012 decision to dismiss the parties’ respective infringement claims.  BlackBerry’s brief is still confidential, but Nokia’s is now publicly available.

[2013.05.06 Nokia Amicus Brief]

While Nokia’s amicus brief is styled as being “in support of neither party,” it’s clear that Motorola should be the one happy here — Nokia asks the Federal Circuit to reverse Judge Posner’s decisions relating to Motorola’s standard-essential patents at issue, both with respect to damages and injunctive relief.  Nokia claims that Judge Posner’s ruling (1) creates a bright line rule against injunctions that violates Supreme Court precedent, and (2) unnecessarily devalues standard-essential patents by mandating that any damages be based on the smallest salable unit, which runs contrary to industry practices in SEP licensing.  A summary is after the jump.

Continue Reading Nokia amicus brief urges Federal Circuit to reverse Judge Posner’s standard-essential patent rulings

Last week we discussed a couple of amicus briefs in the Apple-Motorola Federal Circuit appeal that addressed standard-essential patent issues.  Intel supported Apple’s view that injunctions should generally not be available for FRAND-pledges SEPs, while Qualcomm supported Motorola’s contention that there is no such blanket restriction.  In this post, we’ll address two more briefs, both of which were filed by parties supporting Apple: (1) the Business Software Alliance, which is a trade association of software and hardware technology companies; and (2) a group of law school professors.

Continue Reading More amici support Apple’s opinion of FRAND: Business Software Alliance and law professors give their views

CAFCEarlier today we summarized the amicus brief filed by Intel in the Apple v. Motorola Federal Circuit appeal, and we noted that a number of other not-yet-publicly-available amicus briefs were also filed with the court.  Today, the amicus brief filed by Qualcomm hit the docket — and out of all of the recent amicus briefs, it’s the only one that was expressly filed in support of Motorola.

As it has consistently argued in the past, Qualcomm — a holder of a significant portfolio of SEPs — argues here that a FRAND commitment does not categorically preclude injunctive relief, and it urges the Federal Circuit to refrain from adopting such a rule.  Qualcomm also argues against the particular methodologies of calculating reasonable royalty damages for both FRAND-pledged essential patents and non-essential patents (e.g., the so-called ex ante or incremental value rules) that certain amici have advocated for. Continue Reading Qualcomm sides with Motorola on FRAND/SEP issues in Apple v. Motorola Federal Circuit appeal

CAFCBack in January, we summarized a number of amicus briefs filed by a diverse group of companies and organizations concerning the issues in the Apple v. Motorola Inc. Federal Circuit appeal of Judge Posner’s decision to dismiss the parties’ respective patent infringement cases.  We noted that because the Federal Circuit extended the deadline to file amicus briefs until seven days after Motorola’s opening brief was due, more parties were certain to make their views on standard-essential patent and FRAND issues known to the court.  Sure enough, several others filed amicus briefs last week.  Yesterday, the amicus brief filed by Intel became publicly available.

As you can see from our summary below, Intel’s brief clearly supports Apple, at least with respect to Apple’s cross-appeal of the standard-essential patent issues in the case. Continue Reading Intel files amicus brief supporting Apple in Federal Circuit appeal of Judge Posner decision

Later this year, in the case of Apple Inc. v. Motorola Inc. (Nos. 2012-1548, -1549), the Federal Circuit is set to address several issues that could have a big effect on future licensing and assertion of standard-essential patents.  As explained in our previous post “catching up on” the details of this dispute, this appeal follows Judge Posner’s dismissal of both Apple’s and Motorola’s dueling infringement claims, which was based on the parties’ failure to prove entitlement to the remedies sought.  Because Motorola had asserted a FRAND-encumbered standard-essential patent against Apple’s UMTS-compliant products, the Federal Circuit is likely to decide at least two issues that may have widespread implications for SEP licensing and litigation for years to come: (1) whether injunctive relief may be an appropriate remedy for Apple’s alleged infringement of Motorola’s FRAND-pledged SEPs; and (2) how to calculate damages for Apple’s alleged infringement of Motorola’s FRAND-pledged SEPs.

Continue Reading Various amici weigh in on SEP-related issues in Apple-Motorola Federal Circuit appeal