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Microsoft rejects Google-Moto patent pact proposal

'Can't believe they told the press', lawyer tells press

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Microsoft has rejected a proposed offer by Motorola to settle patent disputes between the two companies that threaten to stop the flow of Moto's Android kit and Redmond's Xboxes and Windows gear into the US. This is after the software giant said it reckoned that Motorola was looking for "excessive" royalties.

Both Microsoft and Motorola are in danger of getting their goods halted at the border in the US over their disputes, with Redmond peeved at Android's use of calendar tech ActiveSync while Moto is demanding cash for video and wireless tech used in Xboxes and Windows OS.

But Microsoft didn't like the terms Motorola proposed for the two firms to cross-license each other's gear. The one-time leader of the tech world said Motorola was offering it 33c for the use of Microsoft's ActiveSync in each of Moto's Android phones, and that in return it wants a 2.25 per cent from every Xbox and 50c for every copy of Windows that uses its patents.

"While we welcome any good faith settlement effort, it's hard to apply that label to a demand that Microsoft pay royalties to Google far in excess of market rates, that refuses to license all the Microsoft patents infringed by Motorola, and that is promptly leaked to the press," Horacio Gutierrez, Microsoft's deputy general counsel, told The Register in an emailed statement.

"At a time when the FTC, prominent members of Congress and leading companies from across the industry are expressing concern about Google’s refusal to honor its obligations to standards bodies, this appears to be little more than an effort to change the subject.”

The US International Trade Commission has recommended halting imports of both Microsoft and Moto products that are tied up in the cases until the two firms sort it out.

Kirk Dailey, veep of intellectual property at Motorola Mobility, told Bloomberg about the settlement offer in an interview yesterday, pointing out that while it was keeping its 2.25 per cent demand for royalties on Xboxes, it was dropping the same demand for Windows products down to 50c.

"We’re hopeful they’re going to respond positively,” Dailey said.

He admitted that the 33c per phone it was offering to Microsoft was the same amount of money that it was going to be obligated to pay anyway as a bond before the product ban comes into effect, but he said it was more than what it had paid under a previous licence for ActiveSync. The phone ban is due on 17 July, unless President Barack Obama overturns it on public policy grounds.

Motorola did not return a request for comment. ®

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