Ina Fried and John Paczkowski

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Court Denies Motorola the Billions It Wanted From Microsoft for Standards-Essential Patents

A federal court in Seattle issued a ruling Thursday that could help settle the question of just how much a company can expect to reap from standards-essential patents.

Source: Microsoft

Source: Microsoft

In the highly anticipated court ruling, U.S. District Judge James Robart determined that Google’s Motorola Mobility unit is entitled to about $1.8 million a year from Microsoft for its use of certain patents.

Motorola had been seeking in excess of $4 billion in the case, which centered around patents related to the the H.264 video standard and the 802.11 wireless standard.

In making its determination, the court noted that there are some 92 different entities with patents essential to 802.11 networking. If each of them got the 1.15 percent to 1.73 percent royalty that Motorola wanted, the cost of wireless networking alone would exceed the price of the Xbox Microsoft was using it in.

“This decision is good for consumers because it ensures patented technology committed to standards remains affordable for everyone,” Microsoft Deputy General Counsel David Howard said in a statement.

Motorola didn’t comment directly on the ruling, offering up a statement that merely noted, “Motorola has licensed its substantial patent portfolio on reasonable rates consistent with those set by others in the industry.”


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