Motorola has lost a court case to block the sale of Xbox 360 consoles in American and German over a patent dispute with Microsoft. Presiding over the case, a US judge has ruled that the component in question is a ‘Frand’-type innovation – and therefore necessary to the entire industry, and that no one company can claim outright ownership. get the details below
The BBC reports that Judge James Robart called time on the case, through which Motorola sought to block sales of Microsoft’s consoles in both regions, and receive payment of $4bn / £2,5bn a year in exchange for Microsoft’s use of video-coding and connectivity patents.
We reported on the case when it first emerged in June, revealing that Motorola claimed ownership over several patents, including ActiveSync technology, which allows Xbox 360 to use videos encoded in H.264 format, as well as tech that enables the console to connect online using Wi-Fi.
However, Judge Robart concluded that Motorola itself views the patents in question as Frand innovations which are necessary for consoles to meet acceptable industry standards – presumably the need to render video and go online – and that such tech should be licensed on what the BBC calls “Fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms.”
However, as Microsoft was not challenging Motorola’s request that the company pay usage charges for the patents, it may still have to pay for using the tech within its Xbox 360 console further down the line.
The case between both companies will continue to work out a fair rate for using the patents, and that a jury will decide whether or not an agreed royalties rate of 2.25% is too high, and therefore a breach of contract between both parties.
We’ll have more as it happens.