Feeds

Microsoft v Google judge could shape the world in new patent punchup

Redmond: Damn Oompa Loompas are eating all the chocolate

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

The next case that could finally tell tech companies how much a standards-essential patent is worth is about to kick off in the US.

Microsoft filed a lawsuit in 2010 that challenges Google-owned Motorola over the its use of standards-essential patents (SEP) in court cases. The trial starts today at 9.00 PST (17.00 GMT).

Apple tried to do the same with Googorola in a case that got thrown out by the judge a week ago, when the fruity firm said it wouldn't stick with the court's decision on a patent rate unless the rate was less than $1.

Microsoft and Apple have tried to argue that Samsung and Motorola shouldn't be allowed to use their SEP in court cases. Both European and US authorities have also been investigating whether any firm should be allowed to get the law involved in SEP but haven't come to any conclusions yet.

SEP-holders say they should be able to use the law if companies refuse to agree on a licensing deal for using their IP.

Motorola has tried to get 2.25 per cent per device out of Apple and Microsoft, an amount that's widely considered too high and which both firms have refused to pay.

Microsoft already gets licensing fees from nearly all Android manufacturers for its patents and is suing Moto for infringing these. Motorola has countersued with its SEP, spurring this suit, where Redmond is accusing the mobile-maker of violating its responsibilities to standards organisations to license the patents at fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory rates (FRAND).

Microsoft says it will pay $1.21m a year to Motorola for a licence, but claims that Motorola's demand for 2.25 per cent would add up to billions every year. The judge will now have to determine a rate, or at least a way to come up with a rate, in the next few weeks. The decision could help other companies get what they want out of FRAND negotiations. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Spies, avert eyes! Tim Berners-Lee demands a UK digital bill of rights
Lobbies tetchy MPs 'to end indiscriminate online surveillance'
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?
Can you hear the difference? Can anyone?
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
4chan outraged by Emma Watson nudie photo leak SCAM
In the immortal words of Shaggy, it wasn't me us ... amirite?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.