Microsoft joins Apple in FRAND patent fight against Motorola

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014


Microsoft has joined Apple in filing an antitrust suit against Motorola Mobility in the European Union for allegedly abusing its standard-essential patents.



Microsoft's formal competition complaint was filed this week and revealed by the company on Wednesday. It asserts that Motorola Mobility is attempting to illegally block sales of Windows PCs, Xbox game consoles and other products by leveraging patents that are obligated to be offered with fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) licensing.



"Motorola has broken its promise," said Dave Heiner, vice president and deputy general counsel for Microsoft's Corporate Standards & Antitrust Group. "Motorola is on a path to use standard essential patents to kill video on the Web, and Google as its new owner doesn't seem to be willing to change course."



Microsoft's formal suit comes only days after it was revealed that Apple has also lodged a complaint against Motorola with the European Commission. Apple's antitrust suit also asserts that Motorola is not making its standard-essential patents available under FRAND terms.



In particular, Motorola seeks to obtain 2.25 percent of Apple's sales of wireless devices, including the iPhone, in exchange for a patent license. Apple has argued that Motorola's royalty sought for a standard-essential patent is unfair, unreasonable and discriminatory.



With lawsuits from both Microsoft and Apple against Motorola, the European Commission is now increasingly likely to investigate Motorola's alleged abuses, patent expert Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents wrote on Wednesday. He said witnessing Motorola's "aggressive litigation and enforcement activities in Germany" has made him understand the reasoning behind the complaints from Apple and Microsoft.











"If every owner of standard-essential patents behaved like Motorola, this industry would be in chaos, and grind to a halt," he wrote. "Just in the field of wireless telecommunications standards, there are hundreds of essential portfolios, and Motorola's assertions also include related technologies such as the H.264 video codec."



Apple and Motorola are currently engaged in a number of lawsuits across the globe, with each company accusing the other of patent infringement. Last week, Apple won an injunction against Motorola after a German court ruled that a number of its products infringe on Apple's slide-to-unlock patent.



Google announced last August that it reached a deal to acquire Motorola for $12.5 billion. Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Justice approved the deal, but noted that Google was "more ambiguous" than both Apple and Microsoft in affirming FRAND licensing agreements for standard-essential patents.



[ View article on AppleInsider ]

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Comments

  • island hermitisland hermit Posts: 6,215member




    Oh, Google... $12.5 billion! Can you hear me now?!
  • Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Microsoft has joined Apple in filing an antitrust suit against Motorola Mobility in the European Union



    As if Microsoft is blameless when it comes to Antitrust. Microsoft is a very sleazy company.
  • haarhaar Posts: 502member
    well, is sounds like google can no longer hide that they are " cutting" themselves, because after apple and microsoft starts fighting it-is-death-by-10-the-power-of-100 cuts...



    (ok, my comment is a bit stretched; back in the day a "google" was 10e100)
  • jungmarkjungmark Posts: 5,798member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post


    As if Microsoft is blameless when it comes to Antitrust. Microsoft is a very sleazy company.



    And it was rightfully punished.
  • plovellplovell Posts: 607member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jungmark View Post


    And it was rightfully punished.



    But not nearly enough. What they got was a telling-off, and a slap on the wrist.
  • tinman0tinman0 Posts: 168member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by plovell View Post


    But not nearly enough. What they got was a telling-off, and a slap on the wrist.



    Not at all. Microsoft run very differently these days.



    There is a documented case about 5 years ago where some MS department did or said something that was anti competitive. For the life of me I can't remember which product or VP it was. But essentially, they said something dumb (eg anti competitive) and Steve Balmer personally intervened, and closed the department.



    The point was that Microsoft are avoiding the bad old days as much as they can.



    I for one would love to see Office on the iPad. Not that I'll buy it, but it'll give other software on the iPad a run for their money. Competition is good, as they say.
  • Quote:
    Originally Posted by tinman0 View Post


    The point was that Microsoft are avoiding the bad old days as much as they can.




    No, they are avoiding the bad old days as much as they need to in order not to get caught again.



    C'mon.
  • rabbit_coachrabbit_coach Posts: 1,114member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tinman0 View Post


    Not at all. Microsoft run very differently these days.



    There is a documented case about 5 years ago where some MS department did or said something that was anti competitive. For the life of me I can't remember which product or VP it was. But essentially, they said something dumb (eg anti competitive) and Steve Balmer personally intervened, and closed the department.



    So you are saying, instead of throwing chairs on stage and performing the monkey dance, Steve Ballmer did actually some good thing in the past?



    Every interview with him, that I see still gives me goose pimples and neck hair standing up.
  • bcodebcode Posts: 124member
    There must be something to the lawsuit then, cause I thought it would be a cold day in Hell before MS and Apple agreed on something again.
  • anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 16,574member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post


    No, they are avoiding the bad old days as much as they need to in order not to get caught again.



    C'mon.



    As opposed to doing things so as to get caught again? Is that what companies should do?



    Do you have any specific knowledge of (even allegations of) Microsoft acting illegally on amy FRAND-related fronts? If not, do you think you're being fair? C'mon...
  • apple ][apple ][ Posts: 7,547member
    Awesome!



    Just yesterday in a thread, I mentioned how Apple and Microsoft should join together and get Google!
  • mknoppmknopp Posts: 257member
    I heard that Google has banned the word "don't" at their campus.



    Which explains how a company that used tout "Don't be evil." as a mantra is now acting the way that they are now.



    I also heard that Google is in talks with Hanna-Barbera to buy their new corporate mascot.



  • bullheadbullhead Posts: 492member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tinman0 View Post


    Not at all. Microsoft run very differently these days.



    There is a documented case about 5 years ago where some MS department did or said something that was anti competitive. For the life of me I can't remember which product or VP it was. But essentially, they said something dumb (eg anti competitive) and Steve Balmer personally intervened, and closed the department.



    The point was that Microsoft are avoiding the bad old days as much as they can.





    BS! How about all the Linux related FUD and Patent shakedowns? B&N is the only one standing up to Microsoft. Hopefully B&N wins and everyone Microsoft shook down sues Microsoft out of existence.
  • Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    As opposed to doing things so as to get caught again? Is that what companies should do?




    Keep the straw men out of it. I never suggested such a thing.
  • tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 39,493member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mknopp View Post


    Which explains how a company that used tout "Don't be evil." as a mantra is now acting the way that they are now.



    "But it's not legitimate in any way! It's just an informal motto! Google doesn't officially associate themselves with that saying!"



    Paul Buchheit was right. "Once you put it in there, [it] would be hard to take out".
  • paulmjohnsonpaulmjohnson Posts: 1,357member
    As far as I can see, there is only one way to sort out these patent battles.



    CAGE FIGHTING!
  • elrothelroth Posts: 1,201member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by haar View Post


    well, is sounds like google can no longer hide that they are " cutting" themselves, because after apple and microsoft starts fighting it-is-death-by-10-the-power-of-100 cuts...



    (ok, my comment is a bit stretched; back in the day a "google" was 10e100)



    That would be a googol.
  • qualarqualar Posts: 72member
    You guys crack me up. Even when MS do something in support of Apple you still bad mouth them. I am positive that if MS found the cure for all worlds diseases and gave it to the world for free you lot would have something bad to say.



    Apple, Google and MS are companies not religions!
  • tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 39,493member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by qualar View Post


    You guys crack me up. Even when MS do something in support of Apple you still bad mouth them.



    Your point being?
  • paulmjohnsonpaulmjohnson Posts: 1,357member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by qualar View Post


    You guys crack me up. Even when MS do something in support of Apple you still bad mouth them. I am positive that if MS found the cure for all worlds diseases and gave it to the world for free you lot would have something bad to say.



    Apple, Google and MS are companies not religions!



    MS only found the cure for all the worlds diseases, because they created them in the first place, to be able to make themselves look good when they "found" the cure.
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