Judge slaps Motorola with $14.5M payout to Microsoft for FRAND abuse

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
A federal jury has ruled that Motorola must pay Microsoft $14.5 million in damages, finding that the Google-owned smartphone maker breached its obligation to license standards-essential technology in a fair and non-discriminatory fashion.


image via TechnoBuffalo


In a closed-door ruling in Seattle, a federal jury found on Wednesday that Microsoft would effectively get a free license to use Motorola's portfolio of video and wireless standards-essential, with the handset maker required to pay Microsoft $14.5 million in damages. Commenting on the ruling, patent law expert Florian Mueller called the verdict one "that makes Google (Motorola) a convicted patent troll."

As the holder of a number of standards-essential patents ? that is: patents necessary for certain standardized technologies to function properly ? Motorola is required to license those patents to willing parties in a "fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory" (FRAND) standards. FRAND issues were also at the center of a case between Apple and Motorola. That case, decided in Apple's favor, saw Motorola seeking to collect a 2.25 percent royalty from Apple over any iOS devices using certain industry standard wireless technologies.

In the case decided Wednesday evening, Motorola had asked Microsoft for a 2.25 percent royalty on the sale of each Xbox and certain Windows installations. Microsoft had said such a payment would amount to $4 billion per year and countered with an offer of $1.2 million per year. Initially, a U.S. district court judge decided on the case, setting a rate of $1.8 million per year paid from Microsoft to Motorola. Wednesday's decision reverses that previous ruling, with Motorola now required to pay damages to Microsoft.

Microsoft had been seeking about $29 million in damages from Motorola, with $23 million of that coming from Microsoft having to relocate a distribution center in Europe after Motorola won an injunction involving some of the patents.

Speaking on the case, Microsoft told The Inquirer that the win was great for the company, going on to slam Google for "continuing to abuse patents."

"This is a landmark win for all who want products that are more affordable and work well together," a Microsoft spokesperson said. "The jury's verdict is the latest in a growing list of decisions by regulators and courts telling Google to stop abusing patents."

A Motorola spokesperson expressed disappointment in the verdict, saying that the company is looking forward to an appeal of "the new legal issues raised in the case."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 47

    Waiting for GG to come in and claim Google has never "started" anything.

  • Reply 2 of 47

    $14 Million?!That's not going to deter anyone. Should have been $140m. 

  • Reply 3 of 47
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post

     

    Waiting for GG to come in and claim Google has never "started" anything.


     

    Don't forget " - Motorola is a totally separate company. Google has no control over what Motorola does!"

  • Reply 4 of 47
    droidftwdroidftw Posts: 1,009member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    Commenting on the ruling, patent law expert Florian Mueller called the verdict one "that makes Google (Motorola) a convicted patent troll."

     

    <img class=" src="http://forums-files.appleinsider.com/images/smilies//lol.gif" />  <img class=" src="http://forums-files.appleinsider.com/images/smilies//lol.gif" />  <img class=" src="http://forums-files.appleinsider.com/images/smilies//lol.gif" />

  • Reply 5 of 47

    Google & Motorola are beginning to become a nuisance to the industry. Stop patent trolling and create something genuine and innovative for a change !

  • Reply 6 of 47
    icoco3icoco3 Posts: 1,460member

    Gatorguy ??  Guess this can be a continuation of this thread

     

    Google isn't liable because Motorola Mobility is their wholly owned subsidiary.  Nice how legal separation seems to absolve the parent company of responsibility.

  • Reply 7 of 47
    pdq2pdq2 Posts: 270member

    Will Google ever get anything for that $12.5B they pissed away for Motorola?

     

    If that was ever the plan, they seem to be moving in the wrong direction.

  • Reply 8 of 47
    Excellent. Not enough to hurt Google (any one still believe that Motorola exists?) but enough to spank them for bad behavior. Kids need to learn that.
  • Reply 9 of 47
    Originally Posted by pdq2 View Post

    Will Google ever get anything for that $12.5B they pissed away for Motorola?

     

    Another $12.5 billion in damages.

  • Reply 10 of 47
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,258member
    Waiting for GG to come in and claim Google has never "started" anything.

    Google is working away on fixing this but they need a little more time. Their X-labs time machine is nearly finished which will allow Google to go back about three years, before Motorola Mobility existed. I've heard they intend to bump off Ballmer so that the Microsoft/Motorola legal journey never begins and Motorola never makes that initial licensing offer three years ago that this ruling was all about.

    They're hoping they can influence Motorola to never spin off Motorola Mobility a year later too but they're not as confident with that one. Might still have to waste the $12B to keep Moto from going patent suit crazy.
  • Reply 11 of 47

    Too bad this isn't getting more coverage. Maybe people are looking at the $14.5 million and thinking it's not a big deal. It is. This represents a HUGE problem for Google/Motorola, Samsung and others who would try to abuse FRAND patents.

  • Reply 12 of 47
    pdq2 wrote: »
    Will Google ever get anything for that $12.5B they pissed away for Motorola?

    Sure they get to pay damaging charges over time.
  • Reply 13 of 47
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,788member
    $14.5 mil is just a drop in the $12.5 billion (and counting) bucket.
    But it does add a touch of insult to injury.
  • Reply 14 of 47
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jdsonice View Post



    Excellent. Not enough to hurt Google (any one still believe that Motorola exists?) but enough to spank them for bad behavior. Kids need to learn that.

    Riiiiiiggggghhhhttttt. Like that'll stop Google from engaging in nefarious behaviour.

  • Reply 15 of 47
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post

     

    Too bad this isn't getting more coverage. Maybe people are looking at the $14.5 million and thinking it's not a big deal. It is. This represents a HUGE problem for Google/Motorola, Samsung and others who would try to abuse FRAND patents.


    $14.5 million ISN'T a big deal to Google, Samsung etc. It's like giving a drop of water to somebody in the Kalahari Desert - it's easily ignored.

  • Reply 16 of 47
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post

     

    $14 Million?!That's not going to deter anyone. Should have been $140m. 


     

    True, however it sets a precedent if in the future it doesn't get overturned. If Google/Moto tries the same crap against everybody else, they will have a harder time to defend against it because of this win and if the jury sees that Google/Moto is a serial patent troll, they'd likely to fine them higher over time.

  • Reply 17 of 47
    I think Motorola peaked with their RAZR series of flip phones, & it's been downhill from there for them.

    I agree the point should at the least be after the 5, not before it. So $145M not $14.5M.

    Actually, how about a new worldwide rule / law regarding SEP / FRAND patents. You break the rules, you're found guilty of abusing them, you loose the rights for them against the other co you're trying to over charge etc, so they get to use them at no cost?
  • Reply 18 of 47
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    gatorguy wrote: »
    Google is working away on fixing this but they need a little more time. Their X-labs time machine is nearly finished which will allow Google to go back about three years, before Motorola Mobility existed. I've heard they intend to bump off Ballmer so that the Microsoft/Motorola legal journey never begins and Motorola never makes that initial licensing offer three years ago that this ruling was all about.

    They're hoping they can influence Motorola to never spin off Motorola Mobility a year later too but they're not as confident with that one. Might still have to waste the $12B to keep Moto from going patent suit crazy.

    Are you really this obtuse or is it just a show for Google's benefit?

    Google could have put a stop to most of this litigation the day after the acquisition if they had wanted to. Even this one would have had a lot less damages if Google had shut it down early.

    Stop playing the fool.
  • Reply 19 of 47

    ..."that makes Google (Motorola) a convicted patent troll."

     

    Larry, stop crying boy. Let mama & dada take care of ya! Wasted like what $12B +, eh? ROFLAMO

  • Reply 20 of 47
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Lord Amhran View Post

     

    $14.5 million ISN'T a big deal to Google, Samsung etc. It's like giving a drop of water to somebody in the Kalahari Desert - it's easily ignored.


     

    Gee, didn't I already say that in my post? This is not about the money - it's about being convicted for breach of trust over abusing FRAND patents. This is a precedent setting case which will put a serious damper on all the patent abuse being instigated by Samsung, Google, Motorola and others. This case will be used as a reference for other cases.

     

    BTW, Motorola was asking for a couple billion dollars from Microsoft and ended up getting a couple million dollars. Or about 1/1000 of what they were asking. MS was asking for $23 million in damages and got $14.5 million, or about 2/3rd. Tell me, who got close to what they were asking and who ended up with pesos?

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