In a recent court order obtained by the Verge, United States Federal Judge James Robart has ruled that smartphone vendor Motorola can't ban sales of Microsoft's Xbox 360 console in the US and Germany. Judge Robart decided that Motorola's patents were FRAND (fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory) type, meaning the inventions were critical to industry standards and should be licensed fairly.
Motorola was asking for damages of $4 billion (£2.5 billion) for Microsoft's patent-infringing use of the H.264 video codec and the IEEE 802.11 wireless local area network standard. Microsoft is willing to pay to license the patents, but argues that the fee should only be $1 million per year. The FRAND agreement between companies is aimed at allowing standards-essential patents to be licensed at decent rates. Accordingly, Judge Robart has decided that previous license fees owed to Motorola can be added to the final settlement once the case is decided.
“Because Motorola has always been required to grant Microsoft a RAND license agreement for its H.264 standard essential patents, as a matter of logic, the impending license agreement will adequately remedy Motorola as a matter of law,” read the court order.
“In sum, Motorola has not shown it has suffered an irreparable injury or that remedies available at law are inadequate to compensate for its injury. As such, the court need not reach the other elements of the standard for permanent injunctive relief.”
The case is still ongoing and will now be focused on determining a fair license rate for the patents.
[Image via BGR]