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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

November 16, 2012 at 5:26 PM

Motorola gives its opening statement in Microsoft-Motorola patent trial

On the fourth day of the Microsoft-Motorola patent trial, Motorola finally gave its opening statement.

Motorola had reserved the right to give its opening statement today — right before calling its first witness — rather than on the first day of the trial Tuesday.

The trial stems from Microsoft’s contention that Motorola Mobility, now owned by Google, was asking too much for use of some of its industry-standard patents involving wireless connectivity and video streaming technologies.

Microsoft alleges that Motorola breached its agreement — which it signed on to when it joined a standards-setting body — to offer its industry-standard patents at “reasonable and non-discriminatory” (RAND) rates. Motorola argues that Microsoft forfeited its right to such rates when it filed a lawsuit rather than negotiated.

U.S. District Judge James Robart is expected to issue a decision on what a reasonable royalty rate — or rate range — is on such industry-standard patents, the first time a federal judge would do so.

Microsoft has been arguing in this trial that royalty rates reached by various patent pools provide a good, comparable benchmark to determine what RAND rates should be.

Motorola today, in its opening statement, argued that patent pools are not a good way to determine RAND rates and that the “logical way to reach a practical, real world solution” was through bilateral negotiations, according to Motorola attorney Jesse Jenner.

The trial is expected to go through Tuesday. There will be no closing statements; rather, there will be post-trial briefs. Judge Robart is expected to issue his decision in the spring.

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