Motorola has suffered yet another blow in the courtrooms of the world up against Microsoft. Today, Judge James Robart of the district court of Seattle, WA ruled that 13 of Motorola’s claims of patent infringement against Microsoft were invalidated. The claims pertained to the use of three H.264 video encoding patents. Google and Motorola reportedly sought damages in excess of $4 billion per year, but Microsoft fought back claiming Google and Motorola refused to present a solution under the rules of FRAND licensing.
Judge Robart states the claims were too weak and not defined well enough to stand on their own, and that was the main reason for this invalidation. That’s not to say the entire case against Microsoft is lost, but you can bet that Google and Motorola had a lot riding on many of these specific claims. Should Motorola win — and there’s still a great chance the Illinois manufacturer can — the damages might seem a bit punitive compared to what they would have been with these claims decided in its favor.
It’s widely believed that Google only bought Motorola for the company’s vast collection of patents, though Google will never outright admit that. The $12.5 billion purchase seems less and less fruitful every day as the collection of patents seem to be sidestepped by opponents without effort.
They’re still valuable, of course, but Google might want to start looking at other ways to justify the seemingly expensive blunder it made in purchasing Motorola Mobility, because Microsoft has done nothing short of making the decision seem rather silly with these victories as of late. Perhaps it’s time to put more of that energy toward bringing out the marvelous-sounding “X Phone” we’ve been hearing so much about.