updated 07:05 pm EDT, Mon April 23, 2012
Motorola gets early blow against Microsoft
Motorola landed a major early victory in its dueling lawsuits with Microsoft on Monday after the International Trade Commission ruled (PDF) that Microsoft had violated four of its patents. The initial findings would effectively ban the Xbox 360 for its use of the H.264 video format, a claim it has leveled against other Microsoft products as well. As a first ruling, it's not automatically in effect and faces a review by a panel, due in August, before it's enforced.
No response had come from Motorola. As expected, Microsoft objected to the ruling and hoped to minimize its impact, calling the ruling just a "first step." It hoped that the review would ultimately reverse the findings.
"We remain confident the Commission will ultimately rule in Microsoft's favor in this case and that Motorola will be held to its promise to make its standard essential patents available on fair and reasonable terms," Microsoft said in a statement.
Microsoft has been vocal in accusing Motorola of standards patent abuse through its goals. As it originally asked, it would get 2.25 percent royalties on the total price of a device, which could see it owe tens of millions of dollars per year for Xbox sales and much more for Windows. The OS developer has noted that royalties owed to numerous other companies combined are just a fraction of what Motorola is asking.
Motorola's lawsuits against Microsoft have primarily been seen as attempts to keep Microsoft at bay from its attempt to push it, and every other Android manufacturer on Earth, into paying a royalty simply for using the competing platform. The Monday win only puts Motorola in a stalemate, as it lost to Microsoft at the ITC late in 2011.