According to Reuters, Apple has sued the Motorola Mobility in U.S. court over a patent licensing agreement for wireless patents with Qualcomm – the lawsuit was reportedly filed on February 10th, in a Southern California District Court. The document references U.S. Patent No. 6,359,898, is a wireless transmission patent held by Motorola.
The lawsuit asserting claims that Motorola has sued Apple in Germany over infringement of the “336 patents based on Apple’s use of Qualcomm components in Apple’s iPhone 4S product.” Motorola’s German lawsuit is in direct breach of a Patent Licensing Agreement between Motorola and Qualcomm. As a Qualcomm customer, Apple is a third-party beneficiary of that contract. Moreover, under this same contract, Motorola’s rights under the ‘336 and the ‘898 patents are exhausted.
The patent specifically relates to the Qualcomm MDM6610 baseband chip that Apple uses in the CDMA-compatible versions of its iPhone 4S. Apple is stating that it has a purchase agreement with the maker and that Qualcomm has already paid Motorola off for the licensing of patents to do with the chip.
Motorola Mobility which is in the process of being acquired by Google and, as such, has become the major voice of concern by Google over Apple and Motorola patent fights. Apple recently asked the telecom standards body responsible for patent licensing across Europe to lay down a set of basic principles governing how companies license patents, increasingly contentious topics for rivals in the smartphone industry.