[A2k] Wall Street Journal: Judge Denies Injunction in Microsoft, Motorola Patent Suit
thiru at keionline.org
Wed Dec 5 02:40:46 PST 2012
• Updated December 3, 2012, 7:23 p.m. ET
Judge Denies Injunction in Microsoft, Motorola Patent Suit
By STEVEN D. JONES
A Seattle judge has dismissed Motorola Mobility's request for an injunction on Microsoft Corp. products because they could infringe standard essential patents.
The ruling is part of a broader case over how much a patent holder can charge for technology considered part of an industry standard. Federal Judge James Robart on Friday ruled that since both sides have agreed to license the technology, no injunction is necessary. The judge isn't expected to issue a final ruling in the case until early next year.
Since Microsoft has agreed to take a license on Motorola patents either by agreement with Motorola or by order of the court, "this license agreement will constitute Motorola's remedy," the judge said in his order. "Accordingly, Motorola cannot demonstrate that it has been irreparably harmed."
The ruling expands on a decision Judge Robart issued in the spring preventing Motorola from acting on an injunction over similar patents issued by a German court. Judge Robart's new order not only dismissed Motorola's request for injunctive relief in the U.S. but the German action as well.
Motorola and Microsoft declined to comment on the ruling.
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has been preparing a possible antitrust lawsuit against Google Inc. for the way its Motorola unit handles its standard-essential patents when dealing with competitors such as Microsoft, according to people familiar with the matter.
In the Seattle case, Microsoft alleges that Motorola, now a unit of Google, tried to charge the software heavyweight an unfair price to use its streaming technology. Motorola says it offered Microsoft terms similar to those it has charged other electronics companies.
Judge Robart's final decision in the patent case will be widely watched because it will clarify one area of the increasingly contentious relationships between technology companies, particularly in mobile computing where standards need to be shared.
Microsoft and Motorola have until Dec. 14 to file post-trial briefs in the case. Judge Robart will then make a final ruling.
Write to Steven D. Jones at steve-d.jones at dowjones.com
Knowledge Ecology International (KEI)
thiru at keionline.org
Tel: +41 22 791 6727
Mobile: +41 76 508 0997
More information about the A2k