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Microsoft-Google FRAND patent trial ends after six days

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Microsoft-Google FRAND patent trial ends after six days
Unlike the three ring circus that was the Samsung-Apple patent trial, the Microsoft-Google FRAND patent trial in U.S. District Court in Seattle was a short, quiet affair that ended on Tuesday after six days of testimony. On Tuesday, Michael Dansky, an expert witness for Google's Motorola Mobility, told the court that Microsoft will earn revenues of $94 billion for devices it sells (like the Xbox 360 and Microsoft Surface tablets) that use Google's wireless patents. That figure includes a wireless adapter that is no longer sold by Microsoft, and it is not clear how far back Dansky was going in computing the numbers. The trial had started last Tuesday and involved Motorola Mobility's H.264 and Wi-Fi patents now owned by Google after the latter purchased Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion last year.

Presiding Judge James Robart

Presiding Judge James Robart

The trial is being held to determine how much Redmond based Microsoft should pay Google for the rights to the latter's standards-essential patents. Google (through Motorola Mobility) is seeking $4 billion a year for its video and wireless patents while Microsoft says the figure should be more like $1 million.With Judge James Robart ruling before trial that testimony related to patent negotiations and sensitive financial information would be open to the public, there was hope that the public would get a better look at the issues involved. But Judge Robart changed his mind, saying he was bound by "appellate precedent" and two-hours of testimony was held in private.

No ruling on the case is expected for several weeks and both sides still have to file some legal briefs. The deadline for filing is December 14th, which means a ruling might not be announced until after the ball drops in Times Square. After the ruling, Microsoft could conceivably sue Google for breach of contract. In an earlier trial, a Motorola Mobility attorney admitted that an unreasonably high licensing fee demand for a FRAND patent would be considered a "breach of contract". Is Google (in the form of Motorola Mobility) being unreasonable with its 2.25% demand of retail sales for its FRAND patents? Keep in mind the large gap between Motorola Mobility's demand and the figure Microsoft is willing to pay.

Google is worried that Judge Robart will order that it accepts a small licensing fee for the patents from Microsoft, which would make it impossible for Google to negotiate high fees for the same patents from rival firms.

source: FOSSPatents, Reuters

13 Comments
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posted on 20 Nov 2012, 23:47 3

1. jroc74 (Posts: 4720; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


I didnt realize it included everything MS sold that is supposed to use these patents. I thought it was just phones...

If 2.25% for everything equals 4 billion.....I dont see a problem. IMO the wireless adapter thats no longer sold by MS shouldnt be included in future sales. Dont know about back sales..

Isnt what MS gets from Android manufactures around 2.25%? Now...I wonder does that include tablets too.

I guess the biggest question is: whats reasonable for FRAND patents? Just remember the F doesnt stand for Free....it stands for Fair.

posted on 21 Nov 2012, 00:49 4

5. AWiseGuy (Posts: 68; Member since: 30 Oct 2012)


Your last sentence is indeed important. In most of the FRAND cases PA has posted, it seems the percentage asked for hovers between 1 and 3%. 2.25 is on the higher end of that, but it doesn't seem unreasonable considering that it's within a typical range, no? Ah well, I'm not a lawyer so I don't know what constitutes "fair" or how fair may change from one case to another.

posted on 21 Nov 2012, 01:41 1

7. tedkord (Posts: 4493; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


I would think that fair and reasonable would be the same price for the same patents for each licensee. So, if Google's other licensees pay 2.25% or roughly the same, then its fair and reasonable. If they're paying half a percent, its not.

posted on 21 Nov 2012, 04:37

10. tedkord (Posts: 4493; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


BTW, gave you thumbs up for the QR avatar.

posted on 21 Nov 2012, 05:59 2

11. AWiseGuy (Posts: 68; Member since: 30 Oct 2012)


I agree. Charging the same to anyone who wants to license the same thing is about as fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory as I can think of. Selectively charging more would not be.

Also, thanks, lol. I see too many avatars here that are just pointless brand stuff. Generally, one's position on Android vs. iOS vs. WP vs. anything else comes out pretty quickly in the comments. Why bother making it your avatar? I figured I'd go with something a little more unique.

posted on 21 Nov 2012, 16:36 1

13. jroc74 (Posts: 4720; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


Ok....now I have a question: is 1% for everything 1 million? If not....MS might be asking to pay too lil IMO. I'm no math major....maybe someone can chime in with the answer....lol.

Ok Wolfram Alpha to the rescue!!! 940 million. So....1% would be around 1 billion. MS might be asking to pay too lil.

posted on 21 Nov 2012, 03:57

9. MeoCao (unregistered)


I love Google but I would like the fee will be not as big as Google wants (but certainly not near to wothless as MS claims). The high licensing fee will be passed over to the end users and that's not healthy.

posted on 21 Nov 2012, 08:39 1

12. thunder18 (Posts: 112; Member since: 06 Aug 2009)


I think if the settlement is large enough, Google should perhaps entice Microsoft to stop suing their hardware partners into licensing agreements because lets face it the licensing fee IS passed over to the end users and that's not healthy.

posted on 20 Nov 2012, 23:48 4

2. flower99 (banned) (Posts: 54; Member since: 18 Nov 2012)


look what you done apple, you just change the world once again

posted on 21 Nov 2012, 00:08 3

3. anywherehome (Posts: 971; Member since: 13 Dec 2011)


make Microsoft pay the same amount he blackmails other manufacturers! Would be fair!

posted on 21 Nov 2012, 00:40 3

4. pongkie (Posts: 496; Member since: 20 Aug 2011)


I like Samsung vs apple better its much more epic

posted on 21 Nov 2012, 01:37 1

6. haseebzahid (Posts: 1812; Member since: 22 Feb 2012)


thats was a thriller movie that we like to enjoy when getting bored but this one is pretty legit :\ both companies doing it the right way for now

posted on 21 Nov 2012, 03:07

8. someones4 (Posts: 618; Member since: 16 Sep 2012)


Samsung vs Apple=Superman vs Batman
Google vs microsoft=x-men vs magneto

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