Microsoft: We’ll hold Motorola accountable for “broken promise”

May 2, 2012
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Microsoft: We’ll hold Motorola accountable for “broken promise”

Microsoft has fired back at Motorola over its German injunction against Windows 7 and the Xbox 360, accusing its rival of a "broken promise" around fair and reasonable patent licensing. Motorola won an injunction against the Microsoft products - as well as Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player - in Germany this morning, over supposed infringement of patents essential to H.264. However, as Microsoft is quick to point out, "Motorola is prohibited from acting on today's decision."

"This is one step in a long process, and we are confident that Motorola will eventually be held to its promise to make its standard essential patents available on fair and reasonable terms for the benefit of consumers who enjoy video on the web" Microsoft said in a statement today. "Motorola is prohibited from acting on today's decision, and our business in Germany will continue as usual while we appeal this decision and pursue the fundamental issue of Motorola's broken promise."

That prohibition is down to a ruling in the ongoing US antitrust investigation into Motorola, which says the company cannot implement any injunctions - even if it is granted them by a court - until a decision on whether it has acted outside the scope of "fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory" (FRAND) licensing. Until then, Microsoft can continue to offer its products in Germany with no restrictions.

Nonetheless, Motorola is spinning the ruling as a big success. "We are pleased that the Mannheim Court found that Microsoft products infringe Motorola Mobility's intellectual property," the company said today. "As a path forward, we remain open to resolving this matter. Fair compensation is all that we have been seeking for our intellectual property."

According to Microsoft's previous statements, Motorola was looking for around $4bn per year for patent licensing, a figure Microsoft's legal team insists is outlandishly large. There's no word on when an appeal might be filed.


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