Florian Mueller, an intellectual property analyst who tracks worldwide patent disputes in his Foss Patents blog, says a court in Germany seems inclined to side with Motorola in the company’s patent fight with Microsoft in which Motorola would like Microsoft to pay it royalties of 2.25 percent in sales of Windows 7 and Xbox 360, among other products.
Mueller writes in his blog:
A short summary of today’s trial (technically four trials, but organized as one because of overlapping issues) is that the court is inclined to rule, with a decision scheduled for April 17, 2012, that Microsoft Windows 7, Internet Explorer 9, the Windows Media Player and the Xbox 360 infringe on those two patents.
The two patents at issue, Mueller explained in a separate email, have to do with video compression and decompression technology, covering methods for reducing the amount of bandwidth needed for video that is streamed online.
The trial, in Mannheim, Germany, stems from four cases (two for each of the patents) filed by General Instrument Corporation, a subsidiary of Motorola, Mueller said. General Instrument said Microsoft violated the patents which are used in Windows 7, Internet Explorer 9, Windows Media Player and Xbox 360.
Microsoft and Motorola are two of many tech companies fighting over patents. At stake are millions of dollars in royalties, along with strategic competitive advantages.
The 2.25 percent royalty rate is something that’s come up with Motorola before. That’s apparently how much the company wanted Apple to pay in patent royalties on sales of some iPhones, according to a court document uncovered by Mueller and cited by The Wall Street Journal.
(FYI: Mueller has been commissioned by Microsoft to conduct a study on the worldwide use of FRAND-committed patents.)
Microsoft itself has a number of patent agreements in place in which manufacturing companies pay royalties to the software giant. Microsoft has not disclosed how much it gets in royalties, but Microsoft attorney Brad Smith has suggested in the past that about $5 per mobile device “seems like a fair price.”