Microsoft-Motorola trial ends first phase, with judge to set fair royalty rate

The trial in Seattle could help establish a method for calculating the value of standards-essential patents

Phase one of a patent trial between Microsoft and Motorola Mobility has concluded in Washington state, and the presiding judge will now try to calculate what he thinks is a fair royalty rate for Motorola's patents.

The trial started last Tuesday and has seen the two sides arguing over what would be a fair price for the use of Motorola patents that are essential to the 802.11 wireless LAN and H.264 video standards.

Because the two sides couldn't agree on a price, the judge heard evidence and expert testimony at trial to help him calculate it for them. The outcome could have implications for other disputes involving so-called standards-essential patents.

When companies agree to have their patented technology incorporated into a standard, they're required to license the technology to others on reasonable and nondiscriminatory terms.

Microsoft filed its lawsuit against Motorola Mobility, since acquired by Google, because it said the company was asking too much for the use of its patents. Microsoft says the rate should be set by looking at patent pools like the one formed around MPEG LA. Motorola favors a method based on two companies negotiating and says its rate is fair.

The outcome is seen as important because it could establish a methodology for calculating royalty rates for standards-essential patents, which could then be applied to other cases where essential patents are in dispute.

The trial, at the U.S. District Court in Seattle, is being held in two parts. The first was to determine a fair royalty rate, and the second will be to determine if Motorola breached a contract by charging Microsoft too much.

The judge hearing the case, James Robart, asked the two sides to file further legal briefs by Dec. 14, according to a reporter in the courtroom. He's not expected to arrive at his decision until next spring, according to other reports from the court, around the time that the second phase of the trial will begin.

James Niccolai covers data centers and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow James on Twitter at @jniccolai. James's e-mail address is james_niccolai@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags mobileMicrosoftsmartphonesGoogleAndroidlegalconsumer electronicsintellectual propertypatentCivil lawsuitsMobile OSesWindows PhoneAndroid OS

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

James Niccolai

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Brother MFC-L3745CDW Colour Laser Multifunction

Learn more >

Mobile

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?