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Apple & Motorola strike licensing agreement in Germany

A filing on Monday in the US District Court for the Southern District of California confirmed an agreement between Apple and Google-owned Motorola that places some, if not all, of Moto's standard-essential patent licenses in Apple's hands, but only in Germany.

Standard-essential patents cover inventions that are required to perform at an industry-defined standard. The filing comes on the heels of Apple's big win last week over Samsung in a separate patent infringement case and marks a new stage in the company's ongoing dispute with Motorola.

Both sides remain mum about royalty rates, which could be determined by German courts based on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) standards. Ultimately, Motorola will likely be limited to the 2.25 per cent rate it has been demanding of Apple all along, according to the FOSS Patents blog.

Further details about the German license agreement, including when it came about, were unavailable.

The suit between Motorola and Apple has been rocky, since a Chicago judge dismissed the case in early June, only to reverse his decision days later, allowing Apple to pursue an injunction against Motorola devices. Apple's weak case left the judge unimpressed, and he finally ended the suit.

Apple and Motorola have since appealed the case.

Meanwhile, in July, a Dusseldorf court dismissed Apple's request for a ban on Motorola's Xoom tablet in Germany. Motorola scored another win when the court rules that Apple's community design rights for the iPad were invalid.

On 20 August, Motorola filed another complaint against Apple, accusing the company of infringing on seven Motorola patents for mobile features like email notifications, location reminders, Siri, and phone and video players.

The latest International Trade Commission filing came shortly after Motorola announced plans to lay off 4,000 employees.