Google subsidiary Motorola came away with a loss in a recent trial with Microsoft over essential patents: H.264 (video codec) and IEEE 802.11 (WiFi, or WLAN) standards. Motorola sought “injunctive relief” (a.k.a. “more money”) from Microsoft over the usage of the technology covered by the patents, but the court system did not agree.
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The court based its decision on four criteria for granting further reward, but the court did not even have to address all four guidelines to make its decision in favor of Microsoft. The court said that Motorola “has not shown it has suffered an irreparable injury or that remedies available at law are inadequate to compensate for its injury.” With this being the case, the court did not even address “questions of the balance of hardships and of the public interest” (Foss Patents).
Motorola and Microsoft will have to come to a license agreement over the patents in question. Regarding the question of Motorola’s money, Judge Robart stated that “as a matter of logic, the impending license agreement will adequately remedy Motorola as a matter of law”. The situation should be solved going forward “[b]ecause Microsoft will pay royalties under any license agreement from the time of infringement within the statute of limitations”, which “will constitute Motorola’s remedy for Microsoft’s use of Motorola’s H.264 standard essential patent portfolio to include the Motorola Asserted Patents”.
How This Case Affects Others
Motorola had previously been barred from seeking sales bans against Microsoft based on German rulings regarding H.264, so this latest decision will become the standard in the discussion as to why Motorola cannot try to seek sales bans in the future (related to these particular patents). The court stated that the recent case “takes the place of the court’s prior anti-suit injunction that enjoined Motorola from enforcing an injunction in the German action”.
Since “litigation in this matter has progressed to the point that it is now clear that a license agreement will result for all of Motorola’s H.264 [and, as a footnote clarifies, IEEE 802.11] standard essential patents,” the American court system will no longer need to look to German litigation for any sort of precedence in this case.
Source: Foss Patents