Microsoft Wins Second Patent Trial Over Google's Motorola; Awarded $14M

 
on September 05 2013 2:40 AM
Xbox One
The Xbox One controller is pictured at the Microsoft Games exhibition stand during the Gamescom 2013 fair in Cologne on Aug. 21, 2013. Reuters/Ina Fassbender

Microsoft Corp.( NASDAQ:MSFT), on Wednesday, said that it won a second patent trial against Motorola Mobility (NYSE:MMI), in a federal court in Seattle, concerning a dispute over the Google-owned company’s standards-essential patents, or SEP, used in Microsoft products.

The court ruled that the licensing fee charged by Motorola for its Wi-Fi and H.264 -- a video-encoding technology -- violated its commitment with international standard setting agencies to offer its patents at a reasonable and non-discriminatory rate popularly known as the RAND rate, Microsoft said, according to a Reuters report.

The court awarded a total of $14 million in damages to Microsoft, which includes $11 million toward costs of relocating a warehouse in Germany after Motorola won an injunction in that country against Microsoft products like the Xbox 360 and Windows 7. Although the U.S. courts stayed that ban, Microsoft reportedly had to relocate its warehouse.

"This is a landmark win for all who want products that are affordable and work well together," Microsoft said in a statement, Reuters reported. "The jury's verdict is the latest in a growing list of decisions by regulators and courts telling Google to stop abusing patents."

This is the second victory for the Redmond, Wash.-based company, following another related case in Seattle last year, when a judge ruled that Motorola violated its RAND rate obligations by charging an exorbitant license fee for its SEP patents.

The court ruled, at the time, that the appropriate license fee for certain Motorola patents used in Microsoft’s Xbox game console was $1.8 billion, much less than the $4 billion-a-year fee claimed by Motorola.

A Motorola spokesperson told Reuters that the company would appeal.

"We're disappointed in this outcome, but look forward to an appeal of the new legal issues raised in this case," William Moss at Motorola, said. "In the meantime, we'll focus on building great products that people love."

Microsoft is engaged in a series of patent wars with Motorola and its owner Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) over intellectual property rights violation. Google acquired Motorola in May 2012.

An international trade commission, in May, had ruled that Microsoft did not infringe on Motorola’s patents while making its Xbox gaming consoles. Motorola had accused Microsoft of violating five patents when it filed its complaint in 2010.

Microsoft is also fighting a legal battle with Google demanding that smart phone makers that use Google’s Android operating system should pay a license fee to Microsoft.

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