US Judge Rules Out Motorola-Microsoft Patent Injunction

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined
as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Judge says that monetary rewards are enough for standards-essential patents

Motorola Mobility will not be able to gain an injunction against the sales of Microsoft products in the US, even if it wins its patent lawsuit against the Windows developer, a US judge has ruled.

The two companies accuse each other of infringing their respective patents, with Motorola’s claim centering on patents essential to H.264 (video codec) and IEEE 802.11 (WiFi, or WLAN) standards.

Judge James Robard of the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington said that if Motorola was successful, monetary damages would be satisfactory as it has committed to submitting its intellectual property to various standards bodies.

Motorola VS Microsoft

“Motorola’s obligation to grant such a RAND (reasonable and non-discriminatory) license to Microsoft far preceded the onset of this litigation, meaning that at all times during this litigation, the issue was not if, but when and under what terms, a license agreement would be established between Microsoft and Motorola,” said judge Robard. “Thus, because Motorola has always been required to grant Microsoft a RAND license agreement for its H.264 standard essential patents, as a matter of logic, the impending license agreement will adequately remedy Motorola as a matter of law.”

Earlier this year, Motorola was granted an injunction in Germany that prevented Microsoft from distributing Windows 7 and the Xbox 360 in the country. However, it was not implemented in the US.

Google bought Motorola Mobility earlier this year for £7.7 billion, partly to gain access to the manufacturer’s catalogue of communications patents. The Android developer is currently engaged in patent litigation with Apple, whose claim that Motorola was seeking excessive royalty payments was thrown out last month.

Both Apple and Microsoft have filed complaints with the European Commission against Motorola Mobility accusing it of using its FRAND patents to block sales.

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