Motorola and Apple have reportedly reached a tentative agreement over licensing of essential patents in Germany. The parties are now allegedly discussing how much Apple would be required to pay Motorola in order to use some of their patents, a value that will ultimately be set by a German court.
The duo has been in court over the use of essential patents - described as core patents that are required to do business in a given industry. In this particular instance, they fall under the FRAND clause, meaning they must be licensed under fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms.
Motorola has argued that Apple violated these essential patents while Apple says Motorola didn't offer a fair and just rate to use the patents. The licensing fees will only apply to products sold in Germany but as per the agreement, Apple has admitted that they are liable for past damages with regards to the patents in question.
The two companies have battled it out in German courts for some time. Apple even tried to bring disputes against Motorola in a US court earlier this year. A trial was scheduled for June 11 but Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner dismissed it with prejudice. He felt that neither party could establish a right to relief and that neither had enough evidence of damages.
Regardless, it's one patent dispute down although there's likely many more to come. Hopefully this agreement will lead to other mutual agreements and we can all get on without these legal battles.