13 of Motorola’s patent claims against Microsoft invalidated


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.

[FoSS Patents via Electronista]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Blunder? LOL!!! OK then…

  2. Your article stinks.

    1. I think the article was fine.

    2. It’s fine.

    3. No, it really stinks. The misuse of “punitive” actually made me laugh out loud. Just because the first two syllables sound a bit like “puny” that doesn’t make it a synonym.

      My advice: Stick to the headline and give a link to a competent source. On that note, FSSS Patents is rarely a competent source.

    4. Yep.

  3. MS the biggest patentroll ever. The true Evil

    1. I would say it second. biggest is the Apple.

      1. its microsoft, they patent troll and then they create a website to hate on google. And get their partners to join as well. We need bill gates back.

      2. True, I cant believe they allow Apple to patent rectangles and the color black, but wont let Moto patent actual antenna designs. The US is just way to biased towards Apple.

  4. It is indeed a blunder. It should have gone and bought the Judge Pender like MS did, rather than Motorola. I am sure he is a lot cheaper than 12.5 bn. /rant end.

    It is still too early to decide if this is a blunder. Just as it is too early to decide if Windows 8 is dud, or apple is finished because the share prices nosedived after a record quarter. These things take time. Who knows. Maybe the reason why MS and Apple are not gunning for google directly is due to Motorola’s patents. That itself is a big win..

    1. If that’s the case Apple could’ve gone after Google before they bought Motorola…and they didn’t..

      1. Apple won’t go directly for Google. They are going for the manufacturers that use Google’s software, and will (by doing so) hurt Google.

  5. You say 12.5 but really isn’t it 10.15? Or for some reason are we forgetting the sale of the set top box division? Let’s use that brain power and be logical…

    1. Google purchased Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion in mid-2012.
      Google sold the set top box division, Motorola Home, in late-2012 (the deal is expected to close Q2 of 2013) for $2.35 billion.

      Regardless of the sale price, it does not negate the fact that they paid $12.5 billion as stated in the article.

      “Let’s use that brain power and be logical…” indeed.

  6. I admit I’m not a analyst or CEO of any company but I never got the impression Google bought Motorola for their patent portfolio.

    More so to have a competent hardware manufacturer under their belt in similar fashion to MS wanting tablets built to their idea/vision.

    1. It was clearly all about the patents.

      1. I agree. There was a rumor that Moto was planning to dump Android for WP, but I highly doubt that, especially since they’d end up paying more for less.

  7. Google has to learn how to grease people hands like apple does, see Google spend their money on innovation and apple on lawyers and hand greasing.

  8. You don’t stand a chance against Microsoft in a court in WA state. They take care of their favorite son there.

    1. I totally agree with this. The same was true in the Apple vs. Samsung case. Imagine, a case in San Francisco going towards Apple. It seems in all these cases that the home company wins.

  9. linking to fosspatents? What a joke. try linking to groklaw, who actually says what’s going on.
    showing you yet again why phandroid knows zero about android. Anyone quoting Florian is not reporting on fact.

    The title is completely fraudulent. Claims against microsoft weren’t invalidated, specific patent claims of the patents themselves were invalidated (and not the patents themselves).

  10. I find it funny that Google tries to pull a Microsoft and Apple but that part gets overlooked by everyone. Truth of the matter is that Google tried to play their game and got slapped.

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