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 Janet I. Tu.
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September 5, 2013 at 1:44 PM
Among the interesting tidbits to come out of the recently concluded Microsoft-Motorola patent trial is this fact: The presiding juror was Mary-Claire King, a University of Washington professor and a renowned geneticist who played a leading role in the identification of breast cancer genes.
King, who declined to comment on the trial, led the jury that on Wednesday delivered a unanimous verdict in favor of Microsoft. The jury had decided that Motorola had breached its agreements to two standards-setting organizations to license certain of its patents to Microsoft on fair and reasonable terms. It awarded Microsoft about $14.5 million in damages. (See the jury verdict form here.)
King, who is currently a professor in the UW School of Medicine’s departments of medicine and genome sciences, discovered the BRCA1 gene. Mutations in that gene, as well as in the BRCA2 gene, can lead to increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
She’s also the subject of an upcoming movie called “Decoding Annie Parker,” in which she is portrayed by actress Helen Hunt. The film screened at the Seattle International Film Festival this summer.
It is unknown if King led the jury’s “theme day” efforts, in which the jury dressed in different themes each day. On Tuesday, the theme was green. On Wednesday, it was sports shirts.
September 4, 2013 at 4:04 PM
The jury in a long-running patent trial between Microsoft and Motorola has decided in Microsoft’s favor, saying that Motorola breached its agreements to provide licenses to certain of its patents on fair and reasonable terms.
The U.S. District Court jury in Seattle, which deliberated for about three hours, awarded Microsoft about $15 million in damages — about half of what Microsoft had sought.
This means that Microsoft has won both rounds of a patent battle in which the court decided that Motorola’s patents in the case were worth far less than Motorola Mobility, now owned by Google, had initially asked Microsoft for.
August 26, 2013 at 6:15 AM
[Update 9:20 p.m.: My story from today's Day 1 of the trial is here.]
[Note: I will be at the courthouse starting at 9 a.m. Monday to cover the opening day of this trial. Jury selection is scheduled to take place in the morning; opening statements may start as soon as this afternoon. Follow along on Twitter at @janettu.]
Microsoft and Motorola head to federal court in Seattle today for the start of part 2 of a patent trial that has become part of the larger battle between Microsoft and Google, which now owns Motorola Mobility.
A jury will decide whether Motorola breached its agreement to provide certain of its industry-standard patents to Microsoft on fair and reasonable terms.
July 12, 2013 at 4:45 PM
Microsoft today filed a lawsuit against U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security seeking a court order forcing Customs to enforce an import ban against certain Motorola smartphones.
The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court of Washington D.C., accuses the U.S. agencies of “arbitrary refusal to enforce an order” of the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC).
May 23, 2013 at 3:53 PM
The U.S. International Trade Commission has decided to make final a judge’s preliminary ruling that Microsoft’s Xbox console does not infringe on a Motorola patent.
The decision brings to a close a case in which Motorola — now owned by Google — had sought an import ban into the U.S. of all Xbox consoles, claiming that certain technologies used in the Xbox violate Motorola’s patents. (Xbox console are manufactured mainly in China.)
March 22, 2013 at 3:06 PM
A judge with the U.S. International Trade Commission has issued an initial ruling that Microsoft’s Xbox console does not infringe on a Motorola patent.
The administrative law judge’s decision today, if upheld by the ITC’s full six-member commission that will review the case in July, means it would be impossible for Motorola, now owned by Google, to be granted an import ban on the Xbox, as it had sought.
Today’s decision stems from a case in which Motorola claims that certain technologies used in the Xbox violates its patents. Motorola sought a ban from the ITC on the import into the U.S. of all Xbox consoles, which are manufactured mainly in China.
“We are disappointed with today’s determination and look forward to the full commission’s review,” Google said in a statement.
Microsoft issued a statement from David Howard, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel, saying: “We are pleased with the administrative law judge’s finding that Microsoft did not violate Motorola’s patent and are confident that this determination will be affirmed by the commission. The ITC has already terminated its investigation on the other four patents originally asserted by Motorola against Microsoft.”
March 14, 2013 at 3:44 PM
Judge James Robart has set Aug. 26 as the start date for what’s essentially Part 2 of a U.S. District Court patent trial battle between Microsoft and Motorola.
Microsoft, which filed the initial lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Seattle, contends that Motorola asked Microsoft to pay too much in licensing fees for some of its patents, breaching an agreement to provide such patent licenses on fair and reasonable terms.
A trial in November was held in which each side presented its case for what a fair and reasonable rate would be for such patents. The patents in question are “standards-essential patents” — patents for technologies deemed so essential that they have become standard use in the industry. In this case, the patents involve technologies used in the H.264 standard for video compression and the 802.11 standard for wireless connectivity. Microsoft uses those technologies in producing Windows and Xbox products.
Judge Robart is expected to issue a ruling any day now on what a reasonable royalty rate, or rate range, would be for Motorola’s standards-essential patents used for the H.264 and 802.11 standards. It would be the first time a federal judge issues a decision on what a reasonable royalty is for a standards-essential patent.
The second trial in August would be to decide, based on what Judge Robart has deemed to be a reasonable rate, whether Motorola breached its contract to license its patents on reasonable terms.
It has not yet been decided whether the trial in August would be a jury trial or a bench trial (one that’s conducted before a judge, without a jury).
Motorola Mobility, now owned by Google, had asked for 2.25 percent of the sale price of each Xbox and Windows — an amount that Microsoft said would amount to $4 billion annually. Motorola said the 2.25 percent was an opening figure, subject to further negotiation.