A federal jury late Wednesday backed Microsoft Corp. in a dispute over Motorola Mobility’s licensing of so-called standard, essential patents used in Microsoft products.
In the second of two trials in federal court in Seattle, the jury agreed with Microsoft’s claim that phone maker Motorola, owned by Google Inc,, broke agreements with standard-setting bodies to license certain patents at a fair and reasonable rate, according to Microsoft.
The case revolves around patents owned by Motorola on the 802.11 wireless technology standard and the H.264 video compression. These technologies are used in numerous devices, including Microsoft’s Xbox game consoles. It is common business practice to pay patent owners a licensing fee in order to use the said patents, but it seems that the two tech giants couldn’t see eye to eye on just how much money is really involved.
In 2010, Microsoft filed a lawsuit against Motorola, claiming that the now Google-owned company is charging excessive licensing fees that could reach up to $4 billion per year. While Microsoft has no qualms about paying royalty fees, it could not agree to Motorola’s demand to be paid 2.25 percent of profits from Microsoft’s products using the said patents.
The jury awarded Microsoft about $14 million in damages, Microsoft said, about half what the company had asked for. That consisted of $11 million for the costs of relocating a warehouse in Germany due to an injunction on certain Microsoft products brought by Motorola in that country, and about $3 million in legal fees for fighting that injunction.
“This is a landmark win for all who want products that are affordable and work well together,” Microsoft said in a statement.
- Microsoft Wins Trial on Google’s Patent Licensing Tactics (bloomberg.com)
- Google Dinged $14M in Microsoft-Motorola Patent Spat (phonescoop.com)
- Microsoft wins patent trial against Motorola (panarmenian.net)