Here we go again: Microsoft versus Motorola FRAND patent trial starts

Here we go again: Microsoft versus Motorola FRAND patent trial starts
Microsoft and Motorola are in court, facing each other in a FRAND patent suit. Microsoft said that it would pay to license Motorola's H.264 and Wi-Fi patents. The problem is that Motorola is demanding 2.25% of the retail price for each device that uses the patents. These include Windows 7 devices, Windows Phone 7 powered devices and the Xbox 360. Because the patents involved are standards-essential, the terms must be worked out using fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory (FRAND) negotiations.

Microsoft says that Motorola is not playing the game fairly. While the Redmond based firm has already agreed to pay a fair value for the patents, Motorola argues that the 2.25% it wants Microsoft to pay is the same percentage it asks for universally, and as such, represents fair value. Opening statements started on Tuesday and the case is expected to run to Thanksgiving.

There is a big difference between what each company feels the patents are worth. Motorola wants $4 billion a year for the patents in its portfolio while Microsoft values them at $1.25 million or less. Additionally, Microsoft claims that Google already offered them a worldwide license for the standard rate agreement when the essential patent rules were being formulated. If the court finds that Google did make this offer to Microsoft, Motorola will receive a lot less money than it was hoping to get.

To make sure that this trial doesn't turn into the media circus that the Apple-Samsung patent trial turned into, both sides requested that the courtroom be cleared when financial matters are being discussed, a request denied by the judge. While the judge did say that the public won't be allowed to see evidence related to patent negotiations or financial data, he did note that any testimony will be made in open court meaning that "if a witness discloses pertinent terms, rates or payments, such information will necessarily be made public."

source: Electronista


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