United States Federal Judge James Robart has ruled that smartphone vendor Motorola can't ban sales of Microsoft's Xbox 360 console in the US and Germany. Judge Robart decided that Motorola's patents were FRAND (fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory) type, meaning the inventions were critical to industry standards and should be licensed fairly.
Motorola was reportedly asking for damages of $4 billion (£2.5 billion) for Microsoft's infringing use of the H.264 video codec and the IEEE 802.11 wireless network standard. Microsoft has stated that it is willing to pay to license the patents, but argues that the fee should only be $1 million per year. The FRAND agreement between companies is aimed at allowing standards-essential patents to be licensed at decent rates. Judge Robart has decided that previous license fees owed to Motorola can be added to the final settlement once the case is decided.
The court order from Judge Robart read “Because Motorola has always been required to grant Microsoft a RAND license agreement for its H.264 standard essential patents, as a matter of logic, the impending license agreement will adequately remedy Motorola as a matter of law,”
“In sum, Motorola has not shown it has suffered an irreparable injury or that remedies available at law are inadequate to compensate for its injury. As such, the court need not reach the other elements of the standard for permanent injunctive relief.”
After this ruling the case will now be focused on determining how much is fair for Microsoft to be paying to Motorola (now owned by Google)