Microsoft-Google FRAND patent trial ends after six days
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