Microsoft/Motorola trial ends, verdict in Spring

The landmark trial between Google subsidiary Motorola and Microsoft is over even before we realized it started.

Much of the sensitive material the trial could have uncovered remains confidential, as the court was cleared for 2 hours of secret testimony.

The stakes are high – Motorola contends Microsoft will make $94 billion from their Xbox game console by 2017, and that they deserve $4 billion of these, due to the use of their patents.

Microsoft is only willing to pay $1 million per year.

U.S. District Judge James Robart will deliver a decision by Spring next year of what constitutes a reasonable fee for a FRAND patent – the first time a judge had to rule on this, likely setting a precedent for the whole industry.

If fees are set low enough it could result in an explosion of innovation as companies use standard-essential patents freely while paying nominal fees – if set too high it could severely undermine innovation and result in more patent litigation as companies work at contesting high stake patents.

While the trial is over Microsoft and Motorola still have to file final briefs which would constitute their closing statements, with a final ruling coming next year.


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