Microsoft scores points against Motorola
US judge prevents handset maker from seeking injunction in Germany, until broader US patent decision is made
Published: 12 April, 2012
Microsoft has scored a significant point against Motorola Mobility in their legal battle. Motorola is seeking an injunction on both sides of the Atlantic against products which, it claims, infringe on its patents related to H.264 video compression and Wi-Fi.
The first decision will come in Mannheim, Germany on April 17, but a US judge has ruled that even if Motorola wins, it will not be able to seek an injunction until a related case is decided Stateside. US District Judge James Robart in Seattle said his court must first rule on whether Motorola is fulfilling its obligation to provide reasonable and non-discriminatory licensing terms for patents which are essential to standards.
"Motorola promised to make its patents available to Microsoft and other companies on fair and reasonable terms," said Microsoft deputy general counsel David Howard in a statement, adding that the new ruling "means Motorola can't prevent Microsoft from selling products until the court decides whether Motorola has lived up to its promise".
Microsoft has been arguing that Motorola has failed in this respect, and sued for breach of contract in the Seattle court when the handset maker demanded royalties of 2.25% of the retail price of products incorporating the standards at issue, including Xbox and Windows. That could lead to annual fees of $4bn for the software giant. Motorola insists the licensing offer, made in October 2010, was the same one it has presented to every company for a decade as a starting point for negotiations.