SOFTWARE HOUSE Microsoft has won a home court ruling in the first of two patent lawsuits against Google's Motorola Mobility over the use of its technology in the Xbox console.
US District Judge James Robart decided in favour of the Redmond firm in Seattle on Thursday, ruling that Microsoft owes Motorola only a fraction of the royalties it claimed for the use of its technology in the games console.
The case originates from a lawsuit between the two firms that began in November 2010, with Motorola arguing that it was owed as much as $4bn a year for Microsoft's use of the 802.11 wireless local area networking standard and H.264 advanced video coding technology standard in its Xbox console.
Microsoft maintained its rival deserved much less, around $1 million a year. Robart decided in Microsoft's favour, ruling that the appropriate payment is $1.8 million.
"Motorola has licensed its substantial patent portfolio on reasonable rates consistent with those set by others in the industry," a Motorola spokeswoman told The INQUIRER.
Microsoft's vice president, David Howard, said, "This decision is good for consumers because it ensures patented technology committed to standards remains affordable for everyone."
The second patent trial between the two firms is set for this summer, again in Seattle, and will decide if Motorola breached its obligation to license standards essential patents to Microsoft.
The patent battles between the two technology giants are just a few of many similar skirmishes going on in courts around the world.
Apple and Samsung are perhaps the biggest players in recent patent lawsuits, and are continually embroiled in such battles. Earlier this month, the US International Trade Commission (ITC) released a preliminary ruling that Samsung infringes an Apple patent relating to a text selection feature in some of its Galaxy smartphones and tablets.
ITC Judge Thomas Pender ruled that Samsung infringes an Apple patent relating to the copy and paste method, following a complaint filed by Apple in 2011. The full commission must decide if it will uphold Judge Pender's decision, and a final decision apparently is due in August. µ