Photo: Loic Le Meur via Flickr
Google has sent a letter to standards bodies promising to offer licenses for “essential” patents it gets in the Motorola deal. It won’t spring them on competitors in an attempt to shut them down.Google isn’t promising anything different from what Motorola was doing — it’s simply trying to calm any fears from standards bodies so they won’t try to block the deal.
The letter is written in obscure language that only lawyers will fully understand, but Google explained that it would offer to licence patents at a starting rate of 2.25% per unit — that’s “net selling price” before subsidies, which would mean about $12 on a $500 phone, for instance.
Then it will negotiate in good faith from that point. It will only sue to block other products from shipping if negotations break down.
This is apparently what happened last year, when Motorola won an injunction to block Apple from shipping iPhones and iPads in Germany. That case is still being fought, but Motorola briefly blocked the products from shipping earlier this month.
Earlier today, Microsoft made a similar promise, presumably because it knew Google was about to send this letter out.