Google and Microsoft clashing in court this week


12, 2012

Microsoft and Google will be battling it out in U.S. District Court in Seattle this week starting Tuesday.

At issue is Google’s subsidiary Motorola’s unreasonable license fees for FRAND-related patents.

The trial stems from a lawsuit Microsoft filed in November 2010, claiming that Motorola breached its contract to provide, at reasonable rates, use of its patented technologies that have become part of industry standards in online-video viewing and wireless usage.I

Microsoft claims that Motorola was asking too much for use of some of its industry patents: 2.25 percent of the sale price of each Xbox and Windows which would amount to Microsoft paying Motorola $4 billion annually.

Motorola is seeking from the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) an import ban on Xbox consoles because the consoles contain some of the industry-standard patents under contention in the Seattle trial.

Motorola had also sought — and won — an injunction from a German court that would ban the sales of certain Windows and Xbox products in those countries but was barred Motorola from enforcing that injunction pending the results of the Seattle trials.

Microsoft has said that it would pay Motorola whatever the court decides is a reasonable royalty. If Motorola agrees to that, the cases before the ITC and the injunction in Germany should go away.

"Maybe the most important thing that Judge [James] Robart can do is outline his view of a methodology for assessing reasonable royalties," said Jorge Contreras, associate professor of law at American University Washington College of Law. "There are lots of competing theories but no court has given a hint what they will be looking for."

Read more at Seattle Times here.

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