updated 08:15 pm EST, Tue February 7, 2012
Motorola may get steep penalties from Microsoft
Motorola may get a very important victory in its legal campaign against Microsoft. Based on observations from the Mannheim, Germany courtroom, patent lawsuit follower Florian Mueller believed that the court was "inclined to rule" that Microsoft owed Motorola royalties on Windows 7 and the Xbox 360 as well as two core apps, Internet Explorer 9 and Windows Media Player. The Android device maker wants the same 2.25 percent sales royalty that it has asked from Apple for 3G, which could lead to hundreds of millions in compensation with Microsoft's current results.
The lawsuit centers over the use of the H.264 video codec that most platforms use.
Microsoft's main hope so far has been to aim for patent payments based on its own formulas forwhat it believes is a fair rate for a standards-based patent. It has been offering 1.46 million euros ($1.9 million) for every use up to September. The sum is likely to be rejected given the gap between Motorola's expectations and Microsoft's assertions.
A court ruling, due April 17, could force Microsoft's hand both in Germany and worldwide. It too has H.264 patents and could end up cross-licensing or settling with Motorola to avoid potentially serious consequences. Although the ITC has already decided that Motorola violates Microsoft phone patents, it could prompt a settlement in what would otherwise be a definitive win.