Apple Requesting Potential Motorola Bond of Up to $16 Billion in German Patent Case
Several weeks ago, it was reported that Apple was requesting that Motorola be required to put up a $2.7 billion bond should it prove victorious in a German patent case and decide to enforce that ruling against Apple. Such a bond is common practice in the German court system and would be used to compensate Apple for the time its products were out of the market should Apple win on an appeal of the ruling.
Importantly, no such initial ruling has yet been made against Apple, but FOSS Patents' Florian Mueller stated that last month's proceedings had hinted that the judge in the case was skeptical of Apple's defenses against Motorola's claims of infringement of a data synchronization patent by iCloud.
FOSS Patents now follows up with a report from a new hearing on the case in which it was revealed that the $2.7 billion bond requested by Apple was actually an annual sum. With a Motorola lawyer suggesting that the trial and subsequent appeals could drag on until 2018, Apple's bond request could amount to a total of $16.2 billion over a potential six-year period beginning in 2012.
At the hearing two weeks ago, the amount appeared to be an all-time total. Today it was clarified that this is an annual figure. But the period of time for which Motorola Mobility might have to post a bond would span far more than one year.
One of Motorola's lawyers mentioned the year 2018 today. Considering that the relevant cases are up for decision in February 2012, we're then talking (hypothetically) about six years, or six times $2.7 billion, or $16.2 billion.
Mueller points out that the potential bond amount would exceed the $12.5 billion price Google has proposed for purchasing all of Motorola Mobility. He goes on to note that it is unclear whether the judge in the case will accept Apple's claim of a $2.7 billion per-year risk should an injunction be enforced, but that Apple's structure of funneling much of its European operations through the Irish subsidiary targeting in the case could indeed lead to substantial risk for the company.
Motorola would of course also have to enforce a decision against Apple for the bond to be required. The company would not be required to do so, and while continued litigation of the matter might suggest that Motorola would seek to enforce a decision, patent lawsuits are frequently conducted in order to put pressure on competitors to reach some sort of settlement prior to a final judgment being rendered.
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Apple has to actually reach *this* level:
Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates was called "evasive and nonresponsive" by a source present at a session in which Gates was questioned on his deposition. He argued over the definitions of words such as "compete", "concerned", "ask", and "we". BusinessWeek reported, "Early rounds of his deposition show him offering obfuscatory answers and saying 'I don't recall' so many times that even the presiding judge had to chuckle.
Worse, many of the technology chief's denials and pleas of ignorance have been directly refuted by prosecutors with snippets of E-mail Gates both sent and received." Intel Vice-President Steven McGeady, called as a witness, quoted Paul Maritz, a senior Microsoft vice president as having stated an intention to "extinguish" and "smother" rival Netscape Communications Corporation and to "cut off Netscape's air supply" by giving away a clone of Netscape's flagship product for free. The Microsoft executive denied the allegations.
A number of videotapes were submitted as evidence by Microsoft during the trial, including one that demonstrated that removing Internet Explorer from Microsoft Windows caused slowdowns and malfunctions in Windows.
In the videotaped demonstration of what Microsoft vice president James Allchin's stated to be a seamless segment filmed on one PC, the plaintiff noticed that some icons mysteriously disappear and reappear on the PC's desktop, suggesting that the effects might have been falsified. Allchin admitted that the blame for the tape problems lay with some of his staff "They ended up filming it -- grabbing the wrong screen shot," he said of the incident.
Later, Allchin re-ran the demonstration and provided a new videotape, but in so doing Microsoft dropped the claim that Windows is slowed down when Internet Explorer is removed. Mark Murray, a Microsoft spokesperson, berated the government attorneys for "nitpicking on issues like video production." Microsoft submitted a second inaccurate videotape into evidence later the same month as the first. The issue in question was how easy or hard it was for America Online users to download and install Netscape Navigator onto a Windows PC. Microsoft's videotape showed the process as being quick and easy, resulting in the Netscape icon appearing on the user's desktop.
The government produced its own videotape of the same process, revealing that Microsoft's videotape had conveniently removed a long and complex part of the procedure and that the Netscape icon was not placed on the desktop, requiring a user to search for it. Brad Chase, a Microsoft vice president, verified the government's tape and conceded that Microsoft's own tape was falsified.
Abuse of monopoly, lying (or perjury, provided they were under oath), presenting false evidence in court, etc.
Sorry. Apple is *nothing* like Microsoft. Nothing they've done to date even approaches that.
Downrated because you're wrong. Good enough?
All Apple need is continued consumer mindshare. And these legal activities will have the same effect on sales of Apple gear as they've always had: zero. The last thing the consumer gives a damn about is Apple's legal activities. They just want the next iPad and iPhone. Thats's what the game is about. There are no other considerations involved.
"No, son/dear, you can't have that iPad this Christmas because Apple is being mean in court." LOL if you think this scenario has any basis in reality you need your head checked. The average consumer doesn't think that way, not even remotely, and never will. No matter how much this Apple vs. Samsung business gets reported, it a) won't help Samsung sell a product that no one really wants, and b) won't register with the consumer to any substantial degree.
Get real. This isn't the United States vs. Microsoft. It's some shady Korean appliance-maker (https://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=13394128&postcount=26) vs. Apple.
No one really cares except for the litigants.
And what Apple has asked for is within what local law allows and is deemed SOP for such cases.
Now if Motorola wins and they don't demand a sales ban, or if Apple doesn't win the appeals, no money changes hands because Apple was never blocked from selling and making their money that way.
Oh, balderdash. They have a business model. There is a body of patent law. They have the patents to defend. Legal contents are a kind of ritual combat, it's true. Google gives its OS for free to anyone, which encourages everyone to copy Apple in such a way that they are coasting on the years of work that Apple did developing a brand-new platform.
This is not "Big Brother," this is good old capitalistic competition in the legal system. If they weren't copying, then they will win and Apple will have delayed them slightly and imposed a cost that the Google gambit freed them from: either writing their own OS or paying for licensing.
All they have to do is create something new.
Maybe the patent and trademark laws need changing, but playing tennis without a net as you seem to propose isn't the answer for protecting innovation.
You don't think an iCloud ban in Germany would cost Apple $2-3B per year in lost business? Do you have an alternate sum in mind?
So, when Apple starts a litigation against thoses who may have allegedly infringed on their IP, people scream "Apple is a B!tch.......!!..." and when it is defending itself from others who file a litigation against Apple, people still scream "Apple is a B!tch.......!!.."? So seems like Apple is in a no win situation :confused::)