Motorola Cannot Ban Microsoft Product Sales, Judge Rules

The decision could have wider implications in standards-essential patent cases.

A federal judge in Seattle has ruled in Microsoft's favor on one question in a patent lawsuit brought by Motorola. U.S. District Judge James Robart found that because Motorola had pledged to license the patent in question on FRAND (fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms) it could not impose a sales ban against Microsoft.

CNET's Don Reisinger reported, "Microsoft has won an important ruling in its patent battle with Motorola. U.S. District Court Judge James Robart last week ruled that Motorola could not ban the sale of Microsoft products that the mobile maker alleges violate its H.264 patent. The ruling means that the Xbox and Windows, along with other Microsoft products, won't be banned from sales in the U.S. The ruling also blocks Motorola from banning Microsoft product sales in Germany."

All Things D quoted from the ruling, which said, “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. 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.”

According to Bloomberg's Susan Decker, "Robart is evaluating testimony to determine a proper range for reasonable royalties on patents that are incorporated into standards designed to let products from different manufacturers work together. His ruling, expected early next year, would form the basis for a jury trial to determine whether Motorola Mobility’s royalty demand violated its contractual commitments."

Janet I. Tu from The Seattle Times noted, "Robart’s ruling also could affect a case Motorola has pending before the U.S. International Trade Commission, in which Motorola is seeking an import ban on Xbox consoles into the U.S. because the consoles contain Motorola patents related to those standards. (Xbox consoles are manufactured in China and other countries.)"




Tags: Microsoft, patent lawsuit, Motorola, standards, ban


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