In an attempt to stop Motorola from asserting patent infringement claims in Germany, Apple sued the company in a San Diego court, over alleged violation of terms on which Motorola licensed these patents to Qualcomm.

Apple argues that since it uses chips for iPhone 4S from Qualcomm, all of Qualcomm’s patent licenses should extend to its own devices. It asks the court to revoke Motorola’s right to sue Apple over these patents.

The lawsuit also details “Motorola’s breach of its FRAND promise,” where Apple accuses the company of not following FRAND practices when licensing standards essential patents. Both Apple and Microsoft have expressed their concerns regarding this to authorities in the European UnionReuters reports:

In the latest lawsuit, however, Apple accused Motorola of pursuing an aggressive international campaign of litigation that “flies in the face” of its promise to license standards essential patents on fair and reasonable terms.

“Despite owning scores of standards essential patents, Apple has never asserted a standard essential patent in litigation,” it said.

Apple received a minor blow earlier this month, when it had to pull all 3G products except the iPhone 4S off the German online store for a brief period of time, in response to a German court ruling.

This move, along with Apple’s letter to authorities in the European Union, shows that the company is taking defensive steps in response to similar lawsuits over standard essential patents, not just in courts, but using other channels as well.

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