Feeds

Microsoft waves Frand at Motorola

Asks court to set 'fair' patent rates

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Microsoft has filed suit against Motorola, not for patent infringement but for refusing to license patents on "fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory" (Frand) terms like it promised.

Microsoft is suing Motorola, claiming that the licensing terms Motorola is demanding exist "for the purpose of extracting unreasonable royalties from Microsoft", and is asking the US court to say how much Redmond should be paying for licences on Wi-Fi and H.264 patents owned by Motorola.

Patent rates are more usually a private matter, to be decided between companies, but Motorola is under an obligation to to license the patents on Frand terms, a condition often imposed by standards bodies before the technologies can be incorporated into their standards.

Microsoft alleges that Motorola isn't playing fair:

Instead [of living up to its Frand commitments], Motorola is demanding royalty payments that are wholly disproportionate to the royalty rate that its patents should command under any reasonable calculus.

So Redmond is now asking the court for "a judicial declaration that Motorola has breached [its Frand] obligations by demanding excessive and discriminatory royalties from Microsoft" as well as a "judicial accounting of what constitutes a royalty rate in all respects consistent with Motorola’s promises".

The same claim has been made by Apple, of Nokia, as Florian Mueller points out when looking at the context of the claim. Frand agreements don't apply to all technical standards: the W3C, for example, requires that internet standards be unencumbered by patent licences. But lots of important standards are protected only by Frand agreements, so the ability of such agreements to stand up in court is critical – and these cases could have far-reaching implications. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
YOU are the threat: True confessions of real-life sysadmins
Who will save the systems from the men and women who save the systems from you?
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE packet loss balls-up
Turning it off and on again fixes glitch 12 HOURS LATER
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Ofcom snatches 700MHz off digital telly, hands it to mobile data providers
Hungry mobe'n'slab-waving Blighty swallows spectrum
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.