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'I'd buy that for a dollar': Apple on Moto phone patents

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Apple is willing to pay to use Googorola's patented wireless technology - as long as it's no more than $1 per iPhone.

The fruity firm made the offer in a filing to a Wisconsin court ahead of a patent licensing trial due to start next week. Google-owned Motorola Mobility is accused of breaking an agreement with Apple over the right to use Moto's standards-essential cellular and Wi-Fi patents in a fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory manner.

"This [$1 per iPhone] is the rate that Apple believes is appropriate in these circumstances, a rate that flows from Apple’s articulated FRAND framework, and the only rate that can be supported by experts at this trial," the paperwork stated.

"To the extent the court sets the rate higher than $1 per unit, Apple reserves the right to exhaust all appeals and also reserves the right available to any party offered a license: the right to refuse and proceed to further infringement litigation."

Apple said it didn't want to fight its rival mobe manufacturer, but if the court allowed Motorola to set the licence fee at, for example, 2.25 per cent of product revenue, Apple would keep the lawsuit going.

The dollar deal would only be for future licensed iPhones. Apple said if Motorola could agree to that price, it was "confident" that the pair of mobile firms could negotiate a resolution for past products.

"Apple does expect that further negotiation will need to take place before the parties actually come to an agreement, covering topics such as the FRAND value of Apple’s cross-licence, the role of Apple’s existing licence to Motorola’s portfolio through Qualcomm, and the treatment of past sales," the filing added.

Apple is also resisting Moto's attempts to keep its German legal proceedings on patent licensing rates separate from the US decision, and instead wants a global rate set for using Motorola's standards-essential technology.

The iPhone maker said that the US case has always talked about worldwide sales so it was ridiculous to try to say that Germany's decision on the licence fee would either render the Wisconsin decision irrelevant or apply in Germany while the US decision applied elsewhere.

The Wisconsin court has said that it expects the trial to take nine days, assuming the two firms don't come to some resolution over the weekend now that their final positions are known. ®

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