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Featured: Motorola Mobility Denied Motion in FRAND Case with Microsoft

October 11, 2012 - Written By Michael Roberts

The court battle between Microsoft and Motorola Mobility (you know, the one that Google bought) will be held according to schedule after a decision this week by Federal Judge James L. Robard.

Motorola Mobility had sought to limit the scope of the FRAND (“fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory”) trial so that the company might keep their options open. Judge Robard was having none of it. He’s ready for a definitive decision that will establish a standard-essential patent license.

The court documents announcing the decision read as following:

Based on the foregoing, the court DENIES Motorola’s motion for partial summary judgment dismissing Microsoft’s claim that the court create a license agreement for Motorola’s standard essential patents (Dkt. # 362). This matter will proceed to the November 13, 2012 trial under the schedule currently in place and to adjudicate issues in accord with this order.

Motorola had sought to keep in control of setting any new license agreements so that companies like Microsoft and others could have access to their standards-essential patents. Judge Robard did not feel that Motorola could be trusted to make a fair decision.

“Without the ability to create (or at the very least enforce creation of) the very license Motorola has promised to grant, Motorola’s obligations would be illusory. The court finds such a result illogical and declines to adopt Motorola’s position.”

Robard told Microsoft and Motorola that he had figured them out. Despite both companies’ trying to use the court to their own advantage, Robard is ready to get to the bottom of this mess.

Foss Patents, in a review of the court decision from earlier in the week, wrote that, “Motorola’s most powerful adversary in this isn’t actually Microsoft. It’s common sense.”

Judges are weighing in on Motorola’s / Google’s standards-essentials patents consistently in the last several months, and none of them looks ready to let Google off easy. The Microsoft and Motorola case will head to court on November 13th.

Source: Foss Patents