Apple, Motorola Mobility held patent war peace summit

EU Googorola papers reveal licensing chitchat


Apple and Motorola Mobility held peace talks at the end of last year to end their patent row with a cross-licensing agreement, according to an EU document.

On Friday the European Commission revealed its thinking [PDF] behind sanctioning Google's acquisition of Motorola Mobility. The paperwork mentions the talks in late 2011.

"The parties discussed the scope of any potential settlement in the event that the Google/Motorola Mobility transaction is closed," the commission said. It added that the option under consideration was a cross-licence that could have been to the benefit of all Android-using smartphone manufacturers.

Apple is locked in a global patent war with Android phone-makers including Motorola, Samsung and HTC, but not directly with Google.

The commission pointed out that, under the merger agreement, Google has a say in any final settlement in Motorola's pending litigation because any such deal might affect the material worth of the company. This is fairly standard in a merger agreement as the buyer doesn't want to end up with a biz that's suddenly worth less than expected.

Handing over a load of control to a rival in a lawsuit settlement could hit the company's bottom line in the same way that leaving cameras out of phones would.

However, the EC noted: "There is no evidence on the commission's file that Google has withheld its consent to any proposals submitted to it by Motorola Mobility under this provision. Indeed, in the context of the German litigation, Google has given specific consent for Motorola Mobility to accept [an offer], provided that Motorola Mobility considers it commercially acceptable.

"It appears from the internal documents which the commission has obtained during the merger procedure that Google has not tied any such consent to a cross-licence for the benefit of Android."

This is not the first time in recent months we've had an inkling that Apple and Android manufacturers (and by extension, Google) are getting ready to bury the hatchet in some sort of mutually beneficial way (although both probably hoping for slightly more benefit than their rival).

Last week, reports suggested that Apple was in talks with a number of phone-makers about possible settlements. ®


Other stories you might like

  • Employers in denial over success of digital skills training, say exasperated staffers

    Large disparities in views from bosses vs workers on 'talent transformation initiatives,' says survey

    Digital transformation projects are being held back by a lack of skills, according to a new survey, which finds that while many employers believe they are doing well at training up existing staff to meet the requirements, their employees beg to differ.

    Skills shortages are nothing new, but the Talent Transformation Global Impact report from research firm Ipsos on behalf of online learning provider Udacity indicates that although digital transformation initiatives are stalling due to a lack of digital talent, enterprises are becoming increasingly out of touch with what their employees need to fill the skills gap.

    The report is the result of two surveys taking in over 2,000 managers and more than 4,000 employees across the US, UK, France, and Germany. It found that 59 per cent of employers state that not having enough skilled employees is having a major or moderate impact on their business.

    Continue reading
  • Saved by the Bill: What if... Microsoft had killed Windows 95?

    Now this looks like a job for me, 'cos we need a little, controversy... 'Cos it feels so NT, without me

    Former Microsoft veep Brad Silverberg has paid tribute to Bill Gates for saving Windows 95.

    Silverberg posted his comment in a Twitter exchange started by Fast co-founder Allison Barr Allen regarding somebody who'd changed your life. Silverberg responded "Bill Gates" and, in response to a question from Microsoft cybersecurity pro Ashanka Iddya, explained Gates's role in Windows 95's survival.

    Continue reading
  • UK government opens consultation on medic-style register for Brit infosec pros

    Are you competent? Ethical? Welcome to UKCSC's new list

    Frustrated at lack of activity from the "standard setting" UK Cyber Security Council, the government wants to pass new laws making it into the statutory regulator of the UK infosec trade.

    Government plans, quietly announced in a consultation document issued last week, include a formal register of infosec practitioners – meaning security specialists could be struck off or barred from working if they don't meet "competence and ethical requirements."

    The proposed setup sounds very similar to the General Medical Council and its register of doctors allowed to practice medicine in the UK.

    Continue reading
  • Microsoft's do-it-all IDE Visual Studio 2022 came out late last year. How good is it really?

    Top request from devs? A Linux version

    Review Visual Studio goes back a long way. Microsoft always had its own programming languages and tools, beginning with Microsoft Basic in 1975 and Microsoft C 1.0 in 1983.

    The Visual Studio idea came from two main sources. In the early days, Windows applications were coded and compiled using MS-DOS, and there was a MS-DOS IDE called Programmer's Workbench (PWB, first released 1989). The company also came up Visual Basic (VB, first released 1991), which unlike Microsoft C++ had a Windows IDE. Perhaps inspired by VB, Microsoft delivered Visual C++ 1.0 in 1993, replacing the little-used PWB. Visual Studio itself was introduced in 1997, though it was more of a bundle of different Windows development tools initially. The first Visual Studio to integrate C++ and Visual Basic (in .NET guise) development into the same IDE was Visual Studio .NET in 2002, 20 years ago, and this perhaps is the true ancestor of today's IDE.

    A big change in VS 2022, released November, is that it is the first version where the IDE itself runs as a 64-bit process. The advantage is that it has access to more than 4GB memory in the devenv process, this being the shell of the IDE, though of course it is still possible to compile 32-bit applications. The main benefit is for large solutions comprising hundreds of projects. Although a substantial change, it is transparent to developers and from what we can tell, has been a beneficial change.

    Continue reading
  • James Webb Space Telescope has arrived at its new home – an orbit almost a million miles from Earth

    Funnily enough, that's where we want to be right now, too

    The James Webb Space Telescope, the largest and most complex space observatory built by NASA, has reached its final destination: L2, the second Sun-Earth Lagrange point, an orbit located about a million miles away.

    Mission control sent instructions to fire the telescope's thrusters at 1400 EST (1900 UTC) on Monday. The small boost increased its speed by about 3.6 miles per hour to send it to L2, where it will orbit the Sun in line with Earth for the foreseeable future. It takes about 180 days to complete an L2 orbit, Amber Straughn, deputy project scientist for Webb Science Communications at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, said during a live briefing.

    "Webb, welcome home!" blurted NASA's Administrator Bill Nelson. "Congratulations to the team for all of their hard work ensuring Webb's safe arrival at L2 today. We're one step closer to uncovering the mysteries of the universe. And I can't wait to see Webb's first new views of the universe this summer."

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022