updated 04:46 pm EDT, Thu June 27, 2013
Single payment of $7 million by Microsoft brings it up to date with licensing
Following a phone conference between Motorola Mobility and Microsoft, a brief note was entered in the court's file -- Microsoft is entitled to be repaid the $100 million bond it posted. This marks the third time that a Microsoft-posted bond has been reduced or released in its ongoing patent battles with Google and subsidiary Motorola Mobile.
To free the bond, Microsoft offered a one-time payment of $7 million consistent with court rulings to bring its licensing obligations up to date. Google previously refused the offer, and held on to Microsoft's bond. When Microsoft filed a motion for bond return, Google opposed it, citing no particular reason why it should be entitled to retain the bond in light of Microsoft's offer. In its reply brief, Microsoft made it clear that it wishes to tell the jury at an upcoming trial about Google and Motorola Mobility's stall tactics.
Motorola's H.264 (and the previously included Wi-Fi) patents are considered standards-essential, and licensing for these patents must be attempted on a fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) basis by law. Motorola was on the losing end of statements given to the ITC by industry magnates in support of both Apple and Microsoft's use of Motorola's standards-essential patents. As a result of the 2.25 percent royalty request (considered wildly excessive for an SEP) and other issues, both Motorola and parent company Google were under investigation by the FTC for FRAND patent abuse, with a light reprimand ultimately issued to parent company Google.