Nov, 27 2012

The final testimonies in a week-long trial in which Google has sought up to $4 billion per year in royalties from Microsoft have wrapped up. In a trial that could decide just how much leverage the patent library obtained through the purchase of Motorola last year affords Google, an expert witness testified that Microsoft will earn nearly $94 billion using the company’s patented technology through 2017.

Michael Dansky of Motorola Mobility made the claim, citing sales of Microsoft’s Xbox and newly released Surface tablet, as well as a wireless adaptor no longer produced by the company. How far back in time his calculations extend are not clear.

Microsoft is arguing that at most it should pay Google a little over $1 million per year for a licensing agreement, but the decision of US District Judge James Robert will extend beyond a simple monetary value. The trial wrapping up in a Seattle courtroom is one of the first instances that sees Google attempting to use its Motorola patents to strong-arm the competition. A ruling in Microsoft’s favor could significantly weaken Google’s ability to pursue other claims based on their proprietary wireless technology.

In his testimony, Dansky asserted that without the use of Motorola’s tech, Microsoft would “have a difficult time selling smartphones or tablets,” a warning that extends beyond the initial foundation of the suit as the Windows Phone maker pushes further into the mobile market.

Judge Robert will take the next few weeks to mull over the hearings as well as additional briefs submitted by the parties involved before delivering a verdict. In the meantime, we can all look forward to the next phase of another monumental patent suit: Apple v. Samsung.

[via Yahoo]

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