Jury backs Redmond in Microsoft, Motorola patent dispute

Jury backs Redmond in Microsoft, Motorola patent dispute

Summary: A jury has found in Microsoft's favour in its latest dispute with Motorola Mobility over the use of Google patents.

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A court in the US has found in favour of Microsoft in its continuing dispute with Motorola over the price of using Google-owned "essential "patents in its Xbox and software products, according to a statement put out by Microsoft.

Microsoft had argued that Google and Motorola failed to license its H.264 video and networking "essential" patents, which are both necessary for Xbox and Windows software functionality, at a reasonable price under FRAND (fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory) terms.

The decision, reached by a jury on Wednesday afternoon, is the latest in the dispute between Redmond and the Google-owned phone maker, with Microsoft again emerging victorious.

"This is a landmark win for all who want products that are affordable and work well together," said David Howard, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel for Litigation and Antitrust at Microsoft in a statement.

"The jury's verdict is the latest in a growing list of decisions by regulators and courts telling Google to stop abusing patents."

In April, a US judge found in favour of Microsoft in the first round of the patent war over how much Microsoft should pay Google's mobile division for licensing these patents. Seattle District Court Judge James Robart found at the time that Microsoft should pay $1.8 million each year to use the patents, as opposed to Motorola's demanded annual sum of $4 billion to take into account profits made from Xbox and software sales.

The same Washington judge also ruled in Microsoft's favour in February by invalidating 13 of the patent claims involved in the Microsoft v. Motorola case.

Topics: Patents, Google, Legal, Microsoft

Corinne Reichert

About Corinne Reichert

Corinne is sub-editor across all CBS Interactive sites, and joined the company after completing her degrees in Communications and Law, and undertaking a string of internships in law and journalism. Corinne is also a journalist for ZDNet.

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20 comments
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  • that's outrageous

    Moronic ignorant people should not be allowed on juries for patent issues. An appeal should vacate this injustice!
    LlNUX Geek
    • Butt hurt

      Apply aloe vera.
      willfordcr
    • Not likely

      Unless you can prove that the court committed reversible error, an appeal won't vacate much of anything.
      Third of Five
    • LOL

      As a former risk manager, I think it safe to say that trial attorneys as a whole don't want well informed jurors. They don't want opinionated jurors. Beyond that, intelligence is semi-optional.
      Jim Johnson
    • who's moronic there LINUX Geek

      $1.8M vs $4B...quite a disparity. I'd say Geek and Google are both moronic. We all know ultimately the consumer ends up overpaying for their devices when manufacturers are overcharged for components or software licenses. I say "Good job, jury!"
      rollguy
  • It jousts decision

    A decision that favors the consumers, Google won't always win
    luis river
    • Yea, steal from others & give it to consumers for free

      How would you like it if somebody broke open your house, steals everything & gives it away to consumers at a lemonade stall? Want a TV, buy a lemonade & take the TV free. Excellent business model. The consumer certainly wins & so does the thief.
      mm71
      • Yeah except no one stole anything here.

        So you're completely wrong. Motorola promised to let everyone use it and Microsoft agreed to pay them the fair price everyone else does. It's like if you had a lemon stand with a sign up that said 25 cents a glass and sold it at that price to everyone in line and then when Microsoft got to the front you said no ignore that sign and what everyone else just paid, for you and you only it's $200,000 a glass. This is what Google is trying to do. It was quite obvious to the judge and everyone on the jury.
        Johnny Vegas
        • Google acquiring Motorola

          This is one of the problems when a giant like Google, Apple, Microsoft, etc, acquires another company that was operating fairly, then the Giant decides to run up the bill to justify their purchase or to manipulate the marked. The justice dept should not approve these mergers so easily, or put 5-10 year restrictions on how they are allowed to operate post merger. It's call consumer protection.
          rollguy
        • Actually...

          Sorry, Johnny - you have it wrong. Motorola made an offer. Microsoft never replied, but instead ran to the courts - they never offered to pay. This information is in the court transcripts. Please don't state the untrue with such vigor.
          To be clear, Microsoft, champion of IP rights everywhere, has been using technology they did not develop, which their products would not work without, with out paying one red cent in license fees to the patent holder.
          wumpus9
      • That sound pretty much like Google's

        business model. Except in that model Google in turn also steals the privacy from their customers. Which makes it a double steal.

        Google and Motorola apparently do not know or understand the difference between Frand patents and non frand patents. Microsoft meanwhile has Android as one of it's billion dollar businesses based on several non frand patents, whilst Google/Motorola have seen their attempt at retaliation by using frand patents being denied by the courts. That action by the courts were of course completely justified and everyone but Google/Motorola have seen that coming.

        Or maybe this try was to get rid of H264 so that Google can shove their own video format down our throats, who knows ? In any case, good it didn't pay out for them. If I were them I would not appeal, because there is no way asking 2.5% of the purchase price of a device is reasonable, considering the other few thousands of H264 patents are being licensed for a few cents !
        sjaak327
  • Google is a patent troll

    Confirmed again today.
    hubivedder
    • They have all become Patent Trolls

      They have to these days since Apple and MS opened the floodgates. Not to say it did not happen before, but these two made it a way of doing business.. can't negotiate in good faith, sue them into the stone age so you don't have to. All crap and shows business has become destructive, not constructive, and we wonder why the world's economy is in the toilet.. Invention and innovation are stiffled in such as environment.
      Putertechn
  • (sigh) Typical internet forum shallow groupthink

    "Googorola is evil, blah blah" ... if you'd take time to understand the actual case, instead of just reading blogs where the author basically reports Microsoft's statements, you'd know that a lot more was involved, Motorola won on one major key issue (whether or not injunctive relief was permitted for FRAND-related licensing disputes), and that 2.5% was just their opening bid in what - every other time, in every other case, even with MS - was a negotiation process. But this time, MS refused to negotiate and sued on the basis of Motorola suggesting 2.5% as a starting point for discussion. Even the judge, who LIVES in frickin' Redmond for heaven's sake, said MS acted like a sulking child with an ulterior motive in suing without even negotiating.

    And this all pre-dates the Google purchase of Motorola, btw.

    In terms of the types of responses on these forums - all I can say is, just because you have a knee doesn't mean you have to be a jerk.
    daboochmeister
    • LOl

      So to be clear here: Microsoft are meanies because they wouldn't negotiate with someone who wanted to start the talks at 35 times the actual value.

      Seriously? If you needed a house, a car, a shirt, anything, would you actually negotiate with the guy who asked for 35 times the value as a start?

      I have a rental property that just appraised at $350,000. Comparable homes in the area are selling for $335,000. Wanna buy it for $12 million? Let's have a serious talk. If you can provide verification of funds and are willing to do a 30 day escrow, I might come down a little. Look me up. It's a great deal.
      mrefuman
  • So why doesn't Apple get slapped?

    Jobs himself said Apple stole everything "and made it cool" - Mac - that is old Xerox

    So why the fight being allowed between Apple & Samsung?

    Too many bloody patents out there for common utility (patent a "swipe" on a screen? get real)
    grouchylibrarian
    • Who to Grease

      What did you expect, its not what you spend a lot of R&D money to invent, its who you make monitory contributions to. (bribe) MS has been the master at this game for a long time in the US. But it will go a different way in Europe and Asia.
      bigpicture
  • bigpicture

    I think your vision is blurred. Time for a cataract check.
    rollguy
  • It cost the consumer anyway

    who do you think they get the money from the pay the lawyers in these fights anyway.. the more I see this crap software patent wars the more I agree that Software should be copyrighted, NOT patentable. sure, then they can sue for copyright infringement.. but.. then things like prior art and not being able to patent every single line as a whole come into play.. you can have someone create a line that is the same, simply because it is the only way the code can be written to do the task.
    Putertechn