Earlier this week, in a letter to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute, Google asserted its intention to play fair with Motorola’s many patents when the billions-of-dollars deal is finally sealed.
However, somewhat contrary to that promise, Google says it’ll pursue Motorola’s existing claim for 2.25% of per-unit iPhone royalties, a figure most folk reckon is a tad excessive. Indeed, Samsung is being investigated for patent abuse after demanding 2.4%.
In a letter to the IEEE, Google writes: “Following Google’s acquisition of MMI [Motorola Mobility Holdings, Inc.], Google will honor MMI’s existing commitments to license the acquired MMI Essential Patent Claims on RAND [reasonable terms and conditions demonstrable free of any unfair discrimination] terms, as required by IEEE rules and consistent with MMI’s longstanding practice.
“This letter is irrevocable. Google understand that, pursuant to IEEE rules, MMI is prepared to grant licenses for Essential Patent Claims with a maximum per-unit royalty of 2.25-percent of the net selling price for the relevant end product on a go-forward basis, subject to offsets for the value of any cross-licenses or other consideration received from the licensee.”
I realise we need to have boundaries and patents exist for a reason, but this is becoming a bit of a joke. I wish some omnipotent global judge would tell manufacturers to shut the hell up and invest their legal fees (I dread to think how much money is involved) in R&D instead.
Anyway, for an unbelievably thorough dissection of Google’s letter, head over to – where else? – FOSS Patents.