Microsoft, Google set aside patent disputes to resolve FRAND

Microsoft and the Google-owned Motorola Mobility have agreed to set aside their ongoing patent disputes, until issues over fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory patent licenses have been resolved.

Microsoft and Motorola Mobility, which is now owned by Google, have agreed to set aside several patent disputes until a US court has ruled on their Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) license dispute, set to be heard in November.

The agreement was first picked up by Foss Patents blogger Florian Mueller. Microsoft alleged in the case that Motorola had not lived up to its FRAND obligation for patents essential to the video codec H.264 standard and the IEEE 802.11 Wi-Fi standard. Microsoft said that Motorola's offer for the license of those patents was "blatantly unreasonable".

The agreement will only affect three cases of alleged patent infringement between the two companies, set to be heard in Seattle, Washington, and is not expected to affect the dispute before the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).

In May, the ITU ordered an import ban on all Motorola's Android devices that infringed on Microsoft's patent for "generating meeting requests and group scheduling from a mobile device", but let Motorola off for six other patents that Microsoft had alleged Motorola had infringed on. Microsoft has appealed the decision for five of the six patents that the ITC ruled weren't violated.

The ban will stay in place until a final decision on the FRAND case has been decided, all appeals have been finalised and the decision for the appeal of an earlier case that was decided against Motorola has been handed down.

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