Motorola

Microsoft has won a partial victory in their dispute with Motorola over patents, but it's far from the outcome they would have liked.  The International Trade Commission has ruled that some Motorola products infringe on one of Microsoft’s patents. The same judge found no infringement of the six other Microsoft patents.  This is just like the outcome of the Apple v. HTC mess that was decided just yesterday, and while on the surface it looks bad for Moto, in reality it invalidates 6 of Microsoft's patent claims.  Claims that others, such as Samsung, are currently licensing for their products to avoid.  This initial ruling is still subject to the final determination by the ITC, expected to happen before April 20, 2012.

In their press release, which you'll find after the break, Motorola makes it clear that they still plan to pursue their claims against Microsoft:

Microsoft continues to infringe Motorola Mobility’s substantial patent portfolio and Motorola Mobility has active patent infringement litigation and proceedings against Microsoft in a number of jurisdictions, including the ITC. Motorola Mobility remains confident in its position and will continue to move forward with its complaints.

Like all the other legal battles, in the end it's just a matter of money changing hands.  Starting with more from your hand as devices get more expensive. 

Initial Determination from ITC Finds That Motorola Mobility Did Not Violate Six of the Seven Patents

LIBERTYVILLE, Ill. - Dec. 20, 2011 - Motorola Mobility Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: MMI) ("Motorola Mobility") today announced that it has received notice that the Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) in the U.S. International Trade Commission (“ITC”) action brought by Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) against Motorola Mobility has issued an initial determination. The ALJ determined that Motorola Mobility does not violate six of the seven Microsoft patents listed in Microsoft’s suit. The Company noted that Microsoft had previously dropped two patents from its original case which included nine patents.

“We are very pleased that the majority of the rulings were favorable to Motorola Mobility,” said Scott Offer, senior vice president and general counsel of Motorola Mobility. "The ALJ’s initial determination may provide clarity on the definition of the Microsoft 566 patent for which a violation was found and will help us avoid infringement of this patent in the U.S. market.”

Microsoft continues to infringe Motorola Mobility’s substantial patent portfolio and Motorola Mobility has active patent infringement litigation and proceedings against Microsoft in a number of jurisdictions, including the ITC. Motorola Mobility remains confident in its position and will continue to move forward with its complaints.

The ALJ’s initial determination is subject to further review by the ITC. The final decision in this case, based on the deliberation of the full ITC, is expected by April 20, 2012. The ITC’s final determination ruling would be subject to a 60-day review period by U.S. President Obama. The Company noted that sales outside the U.S. are not within the focus of the ITC.

Business Risks

This press release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements about the impact of this litigation and future actions with respect to this litigation. Forward-looking statements involve certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated in such forward-looking statements, including but not limited to the successful defense of the claims by Microsoft and protection of the company’s intellectual property; the timing of the matters before the ITC; the company’s continued ability to sell its mobile device products; and the other risks and uncertainties contained and identified in Motorola Mobility's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"), any of which could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements included in this press release are made only as of the date hereof Motorola Mobility does not undertake any obligation to update the forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances or update the reasons that actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in forward-looking statements, except as required by law.

About Motorola Mobility
Motorola Mobility, Inc. (NYSE:MMI) fuses innovative technology with human insights to create experiences that simplify, connect and enrich people's lives. Our portfolio includes converged mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets; wireless accessories; end-to-end video and data delivery; and management solutions, including set-tops and data-access devices. For more information, visit motorola.com/mobility

 

Reader comments

Microsoft wins initial ruling on one patent in their fight with Motorola, loses on six others

5 Comments

So what of those agreements signed by HTC & Samsung? Can they be null & void if those patents are included? Or do they just refuse to pay any longer? Seems like a big grey area that M$ can have serious trouble enforcing now.

It depends on the terms of the patent licensing agreement. I **think** that most companies put in "no way out" clauses that basically say that "you agree to pay for the technology that you have licensed in this agreement even if patents covering the technology are found to be invalid at some date in the future." This could be especially true if, as part of the licensing deal, you are using a specific implementation of the "patented" technology that is provided by the "patent holder" rather than a generic implementation.

Which was the patent that remained, I couldn't find it when I skimmed the text?

PS. Nevermind, I guess MS are going to license it anyway, so that would only add a small cost to Motorola devices (probably less than what Samsung and HTC are already paying).