The Motorola unit of Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) lost 13 patent claims it had lodged against Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) way back in 2010 when Motorola was still an independent company. The federal judge ruled yesterday that parts of three Motorola patents on video technology are not valid.
In December the same judge denied an injunction sought by Motorola that would have prevented Microsoft from selling everything from Windows to the Xbox.
The remaining issue is how much Microsoft will have to pay Motorola/Google to license the technology. The video and wireless patents are considered “standards essential” and as such must be licensed on “reasonable and non-discriminatory terms” to all. In 2010, Motorola offered to license the patents to Microsoft at a 2.25% royalty rate. That would have come to billions. Microsoft said “no” and filed suit.
In settlement talks, Motorola asked for $4 billion and Microsoft countered with an offer of $1 million. The judge is expected to rule on the payments within the next few weeks.