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Apple: We’ll Pay $1 to Motorola For Every iPhone Sold to License Essential Patents, But Not a Penny More

Here is an interesting development out of the many Apple vs. Android court cases that are going on around the world today. Up until now, Apple has seemed vehemently against licensing anything from Android, but their lawyers told a court in Wisconsin that they would pay $1 to Motorola for every iPhone sold to use essential patents.

There is still four days before the trial starts, so things have yet to get underway, but this is certainly a change in tone from other patent spats. I’m sure Moto will be looking for more than this amount, but if Apple’s iPhone keeps selling like they have been, they stand to make a good amount of money if some type of deal is settled on.

What do you think? Can the two giants finally work something out?

Via: Electronista

  • kidheated

    “What’s that American expression about shoes and feet?”

  • Just_Some_Nobody

    This has exactly what to do with Android?

  • tomn1ce

    They just made that pathetic offer to show the court that they tried to work out a deal with Moto…but $1/phone that’s pathetic on their part. I hope that when Apple tries to show the court this retarded offer they made to Moto, that the judge takes into consideration the amount that the other OEMs are paying Moto for the same patents and force apple to pay the same amount or more for trying to laugh at Moto and trying to make a mokery of the judicial system.

  • makaveli

    I still can believe there is people who still buy Apple products….

    • makaveli


  • bitpimpin

    They couldn’t even post an apology… they ended up turning that into an expose into how cool their products are… based on that, I’m assuming they’ll be issueing the $1 per device royalty to Motorola in the form of $1 iTunes gift cards

  • Mark

    No way!!! Make them pull it and make things as big of a hassle for Apple as possible.

  • Kirk Lei

    “I’ll buy that for a dollar!”

  • noc007

    I’d rather see a cross-license deal where they get to license each other’s existing and future patents with no money exchanged just be done with it all. If not, IMHO $1/device is not a fair amount given how much Apple charges for licensing their patents.

  • paul_cus

    Those dollars will add up, eventually.

  • well look at this. This time Apple is talking about paying before the trail actually begins, maybe this indicates that they have little/no confidence in this trial?

  • well think about this, Apple is already talking about paying before the trail begins, meaning they have no/little confidence in this trial

  • Kindroid

    This has been the crux of this dispute. Apple claims their rectangles with rounded corners is worth BILLIONS….but real technology imperative to a cell phone being a cell phone…is worth nothing….comparatively speaking. Apple is EVIL.

  • roger

    idiots, all of you.

  • melpomene

    This is mostly incorrect. Apple was offering a small amount for using Industry Essential Patents (like 50 cents per iphone), and so they are up to FRAND licensing. This is not an “Apple does not want to pay”, but a “i will not pay 30 dollars per iphone for a handful of industry essential patents”. Now, he has raised up to 1 dollar for FRAND use of those patents, almost the same amount other companies pay. Please, google FRAND for more info, or wikipedia.

    • This is true from what I remember Apple did offer to pay for these patents originally but wanted to pay the same prices other companies paid. The problem was is that all those companies cross licensed their patents to get the cheaper price. Apple refused to cross license the patents and still wanted the cheaper price. Motorola refused and in this case I feel they are justified as Apple wanted to get patents at a price that is actually lower then everyone else.

      So after this Apple builds and sells the iPhone with the technology but without licensing the patent. Which leads us to where we are today.

      I also wanted to add that I thought the deal Apple put forward in paying $1 (which seems somewhat fair) is only on phones sold going forward which means the millions of phones sold already with the technology would pay nothing for the patents (to me this is why it should go to court).

  • Droidzilla

    You should change your last line from, “What do you think? Can the two giants finally work something out?” to, “What do you think? Can this force Apple to stop being a giant douchebag-whiny-bitch-baby?”

    In the name of journalistic integrity and accuracy, of course.

  • A buck! Yea, that’s how Apple rolls 🙂

  • EC8CH


    We’ll take it if you drop all lawsuits using your laughable UI patent claims.

  • You don’t get to be the schoolyard bully for years, and then suddenly think that everyone should play nice with lowball courtesies after you’ve taken so, so much.

  • KB26

    It’s like giving up a piece of candy every time someone buys your product. I would rather have them pay as much as they wanted someone else to pay to them.

  • Does this apply retrospectively? If so, I’m sure Motorola would be tempted by the circa $150m they could net… might even help them turn a profit for once :p

    • Kyle Fullmer

      After a 1.2 billion win off Samsung, 150 mil is nothing, not to mention what Apple is worth.

      • Yeah, and I guess it’s not really Motorola anymore… it’s Google! Still, if Apple have named an amount, it sort of admits their need to licence.

    • Droidzilla

      *retroactively, and yes, it could.

  • hfoster52

    Hmmmm…. Apple has 1 Billion settlement to give to Moto.

    • hfoster52

      I stand corrected they have potential of 1.2 Billion settlement. I smell a horse trade?

  • Brent Cooper

    Import Ban!!! If that’s what Apple does to Samsung, let it be done back to Apple!

  • Don’t give em nothing Motorola… let them suffer. Would love to see all sales of apple stop (galaxy nexus) and back damages paid on devices sold using the patents.

  • EvanTheGamer

    Apple = Cheapskates

  • They need to tell apple to take everyone of those dollars, roll it up and shove it up their a$$. They would not be offering his if they were not worried about losing.

  • Piss on Apple, all that griping and now play nice, nah, let them do without

  • Fly_Dog

    At least $30 per device plus a non-snarky apology on Apple’s home page in 16 point type or bigger

    • WickedToby741

      Screw the apology, I think Apple should be forced to run full size ads on their site. Imagine seeing Samsung’s “The Next Big Thing is Here” campaign on Apple’s home page. Golden.

    • KB26

      72 point font in comic sans

  • stupidllama

    Nope, apple seems to think they should not have to pay anything for past infringement, just infringement going forward.

  • TheWenger

    But everyone else has to pay $40 to use their patents on rectangular electronic devices and slide-to-unlock.

  • Moto needs to charge them the sum of all their license fees to zero out the profit for apple. $15 here, $5 there…

  • Velmeran

    Interesting strategy shift from Apple. Given their past history they must not have a good feeling about their chances at trial if they were willing to make an ‘offer’ before the trial even started.

  • schoat333

    This won’t settle anything. There has to be a settlement that include a clause saying they will not attack any Android Manufactures with their ridiculous patents anymore.

  • chris125

    So apple wanted $30+ per device from Samsung yet will only give moto $1 per device. Yeah OK apple.

    • Droidzilla

      The wretched irony is that the patents here are standards-based FRAND patents, so they’re for actual, for realsies inventions. The patents Apple wanted $30/per for were stupid design patents, which I think ought not be granted in any case. The code should be copyrighted, but patents for things like rubber-banding are stupid (and it was recently, rightly, invalidated).

      • WickedToby741

        “We want $15/device for the degree to which you rounded your corners, but we’ll give you $1 per device for inventing the cell phone. Sound fair?”

        • KB26

          Exaggerate this even more:

          “We demand $30 for each phone you sold because of the way the pixels are arranged on ONE PART OF THE HOMESCREEN, and because of the rounded corners found in every day life, but i’ll give ya a candy bar for inventing something that changed the world. Deal?”

    • NeedName

      yeah, cause you know. . . the “rubber band effect” is so much more important than radio signals on a smartphone.

    • bitpimpin

      Im no lawyer, but I hope to god the Samsung lawyers pick up on this and in their appeal case talk about how apple thinks a mere $1 per device fee is more than reasonable lol

      • michael arazan

        average apple phone and 3g/4g tablet are sold for well over $600+ and they want to pay Motorola $1 a device, that’s actually more than they pay their Chinese slaves.

    • Exactly. Apple should be treated the same way they are treating other manufacturers.

  • Doan

    *There are still four days

  • monkey082506

    Is this the beginning of Apple realizing the Android community can survive without the use of it’s patents but yet it can’t survive without Android patents? Hmmm….suck it Apple

    • EJ McCarty

      You’re honestly just a complete idiot, and i say that with no respect at all. Tell me your reasoning for this and how you think it’s even remotely true. I just switched from the GNex to Iphone 5 and I can’t even begin to explain overall how much better of a product it is. And this is about motorola patents, not ones over the operating systems themselves. So please think before you posted absolutely absurd statements

      • you are a complete idiot for switching to the ifail5…

        • monkey082506

          Let the iSheep have his fun. The gNex can be difficult for some users. I mean after all it has 3 buttons and they change at certain times depending on the needs of the user. I can only imagine how much better it would be to use that one button, the overall experience would be so much better (I really hope everyone picked up the sarcasm). BTW iSheep how’s your navigation on that wonderful OS of yours?

          • dangolds

            Do you really think that just because someone buys an iPhone over an Android phone that this automatically makes the person a dumb sheep? Day to day usage, these devices aren’t nearly as radically different as you’d like to believe. It really comes down to personal preference……you know, the same way that folks choose among the many different Android phones out there without being insulted on this site for their choices. But by all means, continue to insult people just because they don’t have the same blind loyalty that you do to a particular device. Just curious by the way – what do you think is more important to have on a cell phone: good navigation or a cell radio that doesn’t crap out every 5 minutes? Your gNex is a nice phone, but it’s not as flawless as you’re making it out to be (e.g. weak cell radio, middle of the road camera, battery issues).

          • monkey082506

            I”m not sure where in either of my comments did I say something on how radically different these devices are. They’re phones, they both do essentially the same thing. Do I think the Android OS is better and allows users to do whatever they want with it and iOS does not? Yes because that’s a proven fact. Did I say the GNex is flawless? No, if you were to get anything from my post it would have been that it has 3 buttons and good navigation. Does it have that? Sure does. Would I change the battery, camera, and the often drop of cell radio? In a heart beat. Am I going to buy an iPhone 5 because of that….not a chance in hell.

          • Justin Swanson

            I thought the GNex radios were fixed a long time ago… I don’t have any problems with my signal… maybe it’s because I’m in Korea we there are cell towers/repeaters every 15ft?

          • dangolds

            The main thing I got from your post was that you thought someone was a sheep just because he preferred the iPhone 5 over the gNex. Since we both agree the 2 devices have similar functions along with different strengths and weaknesses, I’m not sure why you’d come to the conclusion that the guy is an iSheep just because he didn’t happen to prefer your device. Glad you like your gNex – but it’s not an unreasonable position for someone to prefer the iPhone 5 to the gNex, and it shouldn’t automatically imply that the person is just blindly following the flock.

          • dangolds

            And of course that gets 2 down votes because heaven forbid anyone suggest that there could potentially be a valid reason for buying an iPhone aside from being a mindless iSheep. You stay classy, Fan Boys.

  • Moto shouldn’t let them use a single patent. Especially if they’re essential. Hurt them as much as possible. It’s like a kid who beats up all the kids in the neighborhood and then gets mad when they won’t play with them.

    • carlisimo

      Companies aren’t allowed to deny the licensing of essential (standards-based) patents. They’re legally obligated to license them under fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms.

      • Ahh, but the rub is that the fair and reasonable has to be to both parties, $1 is not fair to Motorola, $100 is not fair to Apple.

        • WickedToby741

          It depends on how much they charged others for these patents. If they took $1/device from someone like say Samsung, then they’d be SOL despite the fact that Samsung isn’t attempting to sue them out of existence.

          • drathos

            The problem is, in most cases the licensing deal is a cross licensing deal with little to no money involved. Apple wants the “little to no money” part without the cross licensing. And when they don’t get that, they go complain to the FTC.

  • FortitudineVincimus

    Take it to court and let it ride. $1, what a joke. If it was reversed, they would want $10

  • If this could end the patent wars, I’m all for it, but that’s likely really a lowball offer considering the iPhone’s $600+ price at full retail.

  • JoshGroff

    Does this only apply to sales of the iPhone 5, or iPhones in general?

    I’d still like to see a cross licensing deal instead, but this is a start.

  • I don’t think any tech company should license anything to Apple, on principle alone.

    • The bad part is, if they don’t accept the offer they risk being forced to let them use it for free, or closer to.

    • Droidzilla

      Can’t do that with FRAND if Apple is willing to pay a fair and reasonable licensing fee. Owning standards-related patents is a two-edged sword.

      • tomn1ce

        I don’t see $1/phone as been fair to Moto…especially if other OEMs are paying more then that….This is just to show the court that they tried to work out a deal with moto and this comes 4 days before the trial…hhhhmmm

    • bitpimpin

      I actually lol’d when reading this… that’s awesome. But seriously I can’t tell if ur being serious or just hilarious.

  • SkullOne

    Hell can’t argue about $1. That’s a lot of money per year in Moto’s pocket for doing nothing. However, I say stick it to them for $5 a phone!

    • Diablo81588

      Doing nothing? How about all of the money for R&D to develop the technology in question, or the cost to own all of the patents in general?

      • SkullOne

        These are FRAND patents. This isn’t something Moto can come back and say give me $100 a phone.

        • Diablo81588

          I never said anything about asking for more money. My point was Moto spent money developing these technologies and should be compensated as such for other companies to use it. You’re comment about them getting money for doing nothing is false.

        • Droidzilla

          People, stop listening to Florian Mueller. FRAND =! free; it’s Fair and Reasonable. If $5 per device is fair and reasonable, then it’s fine to sue with FRAND patents. FRAND is not open source, and using FRAND patents without paying the license holder is still theft of intellectual property.

          • jaimus

            it is not FRAND use of patents when other companies just pay 1 dollar for the patents that motorola requests 30 dollars from apple.

          • Droidzilla

            Correct. Do we know what the other companies are paying Moto for the use of these FRAND patents? If, for instance, Nokia is paying $2.50 per phone for licensing, then that’s a fair and reasonable amount to ask Apple to pay. Or, if patents of this sort usually fetch $0.50 per device, then even $1 is neither fair nor reasonable.

            I haven’t heard; what’s Motorola charging everyone else and what are they asking for from Apple? This stuff gets complicated with cross licensing, too, so a simple dollar amount won’t always cut it. E.g. if Moto is cross licensing another patent from Nokia that Nokia usually charges $2 per device, and Moto is charging $1.50 per device for their patent, that puts its actual price at $3.50 per device to license.

    • Doing nothing? This is obviously things they created that Apple and most everyone else needs… I would hardly call that nothing.

    • DanWazz

      My thoughts exactly. Microsoft style.

  • wh1te_mag1c

    We’ll see what the courts have to say about that, crApple.

  • randy

    So a couple hundred million. Apple can just use that 1.2 billion they got from Samsung to pay.

    • stupidllama

      except they haven’t got it yet, and likly never will, but we shall see.

    • They have gotten nothing from Samsung. It’s still in appeals and I would be surprised if something didn’t actually turn into a mis-trial

      • It should be. That lead juror almost seemed planted.

    • Brent Cooper

      A few million is nothing to Apple. They have billions in the bank.

      • BrandoHD

        It’s not about the money

  • I wouldn’t support this.. Motorola needs to stand their ground.

  • Bert336

    make it $10 a piece and they have a deal!

  • Mordecaidrake

    Apple is so pig headed, I can’t stomach it.

    • Stevedub40

      Amen to that. I’m waiting to hear what the apple trolls – that feel the need to browse this site – have to say.

      • dangolds

        As one such “troll”, my comments would be in line with Droidzilla’s above. I have no idea whether $1/unit is a fair fee for these patents because I’m not privy to what other competitors are paying Moto for the use of these patents. If $1-$2/phone is the going rate for FRAND patents, then I think most of the people on here are flipping out over nothing as usual. If the going rate is $15/phone, then Apple is clearly lowballing, posturing and not serious about settling.
        Either way it’s the same old story – tech blogs are not populated by patent attorneys, so most of the opinions on this site regarding this particular issue are generally ignorant. I’ll be the first to admit that I have no idea what the answer is, so I have no reason to praise or insult Apple on this one until I get some actual facts. Seems like most of the people on this site don’t have the actual facts either, but are happy to let their inner 10-year olds out and use this as another excuse to bitch about Apple.
        I know I will draw the ire of all by saying this, but this obsessive hate that some posters have for Apple on this site is ridiculous. It’s just a different software/phone platform – nothing more, nothing less. If you don’t like their product, then buy something else. There are clearly plenty of other good options in the Android and Windows worlds to choose from. The most common complaint I read justifying the hatred of Apple is all of the “iSheep” acting so “smug” and thinking that their phones are better than Android! Ummmmm……so the answer is then to respond by acting the exact same way, only by favoring Android over Apple? I know you guys think you’re fighting the “good fight” but trust me that when you do this, you sound just as Toolish as the Apple Fanboys you love to mock.
        Stick to what this site is best for – educating people on new Android devices and the various cool features that they possess. For those like me, who have bounced back and forth between both platforms, this information helps me get more out of my Android phone and gives me good ideas to chew on when I think about buying my next device. Please leave the litigation expertise and pointless whining to other sites, because when it comes to that stuff most of you have no idea what the F you’re talking about.
        Let the downvoting commence!

        • Droidzilla

          I agree with the spirit of this, but I will disagree on one point: Apple is not acting just like every other company. Most companies will license first, sue second. Or, like Google, use what they consider bogus patents as only defensive business weapons. Apple is gaming the system, and yes, that means the system is broken. But that doesn’t make them any less exploitive.

          I dislike how Apple does business, and a lot of others would agree. There are quite a few more who couldn’t care less, and that’s fine, too. But then there are those who think Samsung copied and that Apple is actually innovating in the tech/mobile word, and that everything Apple makes is gold. It’s annoying. I’m not saying you’re one of those at all, but they are out there, and it’s rational to think that a little pent-up ire might be spilled out on an Android blog comment section from people who are sick of the attitude.

          Again, though, I agree with your overall point. I have friends for whom Apple products are the best choice, so I’m not going to say that Apple simply sucks and that’s that. But neither will I pretend that they have done anything truly innovative in the last three years at least, nor that their recent court cases had any merit whatsoever.