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back to article Jury reckons Motorola wasn't 'fair and reasonable' to Microsoft

Microsoft has said that a Washington jury had agreed with its claim that Google-owned Motorola had broken its promises to standards-setting bodies to license its standards-essential patents at fair and reasonable rates. The jury awarded Redmond $14m in damages, around half of what it had asked for. Most of this, $11m, is to pay …

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JDX
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Looking forward to the comments on this one...

Should be very balanced and objective.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Looking forward to the comments on this one...

Another defeat for The Borg. Looks like all those billions on Motorola was money down the drain...

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Anonymous Coward

The borg?

Eh? The Borg didn't buy Motorola, the Chocolate Factory did...

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Re: Looking forward to the comments on this one...

"Should be very balanced and objective."

How could it be otherwise? You are here, aren't you?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The borg?

Google = The Borg.

Consumes all your information, reads all your emails, analyses it, sends a copy of anything interesting to the NSA.....And then SPAMs you with adverts based on what it knows...

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Unhappy

Re: The borg?

Poor Microsoft and to think that once they were considered to be important enough to be called "the Borg"

The hits keep coming, no wonder Ballmer had to leave

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Darkness of Greed

Nothing interesting here except that the jury were objective this time. "Fair and reasonable" is hard to define, but most probably other licensees disclosed amounts of their payments to Motorola so jury were able to calculate statistically significant mean and STD.

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Coat

Re: Darkness of Greed

It's important to know about STD of other partners when you're being shafted...

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Re: Darkness of Greed

Actually since "Fair and reasonable" are purely subjective terms, they are impossible to define without some sort of predetermined criteria.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Darkness of Greed

Fair and reasonable are perfectly well understood. If you charge a rival more than a non-rival then that is unfair.

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Meh

Re: Darkness of Greed

Actually I think "mean" scores on both counts, but I would be hesitant to attribute a STD mechanism to geek maladies ... it's frequency unlikely.

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Windows

M$ would never extort money out of other businesses in this way.

No... wait... Microsoft is estimated to collect somewhere near $8 in royalties per Android device, however, meaning its royalty fees could total $3.4 billion in 2013.

From now on I will be referring to M$ as Pot and Google as Kettle.

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FAIL

Re: M$ would never extort money out of other businesses in this way.

Are you trying to claim that

1) Microsoft's patents are covered by FRAND? (Hint: no they aren't )

And

2) That Microsoft have sold 500 million XBoxes?

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Re: M$ would never extort money out of other businesses in this way.

It's not about "no royalties", it's about them being fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory.

That falls down a bit because it's defined by money-grubbing lawyers, whose job it is to look at all the facts, then present the most extreme case they can in their clients' favour, but, you know. It's good in theory.

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Re: M$ would never extort money out of other businesses in this way.

Microsoft indeed do not "extort" money in this way.

What Microsoft do is sell or license their patents to non-practising third parties, who then - completely independently and with no prompting from Microsoft whatsoever - sue Microsoft's competitors for patent infringement.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: M$ would never extort money out of other businesses in this way.

"non-practising third parties"

I think you will find that is a miniscule amount of Microsoft's IP.....And it is common practice to pool patents via entities that extract value from them. MPEG LA is a good example....

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Windows

Re: M$ would never extort money out of other businesses in this way.

1) Nope not claiming that, I'm saying that both companies are using antiquated patent laws to extract revenue from their competitors in a manner that makes both of them appear to be Patent Troll megacorps.

2) The amount of money paid out is kinda moot (arbitrary sums at best), the ethics of such behavior is the question. They both play this game to their own advantage and therefore are basically the same. Sell 500 million Xboxes? Yeah, they would love to wouldn't they. Then M$ wouldn't have to buy up the rights to license Nokia's patents for the next 10 years to help ensure future prosperity.

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Stop

Re: M$ would never extort money out of other businesses in this way.

The difference is that those "antiquated patent laws" allow Microsoft to charge whatever it can get away with in licence fees for *NON FRAND* patents that it holds (don't forget that it holds patents in standards like h.264 which have been committed as FRAND, and for which it gets very little money).

When a manufacturer gets involved in setting a patent they commit to following FRAND rules for any of their patents which are included in the standard. FRAND doesn't mean that they must charge near nothing, but they DO have to prove that the rate they offered is the same for everyone else (and if they wanted $4bn from MS for one device then they'd have been pulling in trillions from the rest of the market).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: M$ would never extort money out of other businesses in this way.

That is based upon patents that aren't essential and aren't FRAND.

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Stop

ohh come on!

No one is going to mention the new name? "Googorola" has it been used in previous articles and I've just missed it or am I the only one who finds it funny? and no, I don't know why.

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FAIL

Re: ohh come on!

Googorola is not new here.

Google Knows All

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Anonymous Coward

There is no togetherness.

"This is a landmark win for all who want products that are affordable and work well together," Microsoft said"

Stuff there is 'Working together' only as a guest,

The guest golden rule for an invite is probably that the guest must shaft Android.

Thus Firefox, Opera and Chrome and now quite uninvited.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: There is no togetherness.

Wise words of wisdom mate! Now to arrange them into sentences and see if I can understand.....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: There is no togetherness.

"Wise words of wisdom mate! Now to arrange them into sentences and see if I can understand....."

If you figure it out let me know, because I sure can't.

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Pint

Microsoft said in a statement. "The jury's verdict is the latest in a growing list of decisions by regulators and courts telling Google to stop abusing patents."

Some here dispute if Microsoft abused its patents or not. I lean towards yes but am unable to back that up. Then again, as a monopoly, Microsoft was quite an abusive company. Listening to them whine about Google is amusing. Now that Chrome is popular, I wonder how long it will take for Microsoft to claim that Google used its search monopoly and violated antitrust laws in the process? We need a popcorn icon.

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It is called 'Fair search'

A bunch of failed companies and Microsoft have already complained to the EU about Google search not putting their broken services at the top of the page.

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For Some companies, many, maybe, FRAND means

For Some companies, many, maybe, FRAND means...

Fierce

Robust

And

Nominally

Destructive

Or,

Firey

Resistant

And

Never

Demurring

Or

Fickle

Recalcitrant

And

Natively

Deceptive

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Stop

So...MS lost the case in a German court and, wanting a do over, brought the case back to the U.S so their lawyers could manipulate a clueless jury into (essentially) punishing Moto for winning in Germany. Yay?

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Umm...no, not even close.

Motorola took it to a German court which imposed an injunction which is essentially a stop and cease order while the case is going through.

Now an injunction is for when the accusser is likely to suffer a non-financial loss which wasn't the case. As a FRAND patent Microsoft had to licence it which Microsoft didn't dispute, it was the value that was being disputed. As such the court case was purely about a financial loss which falls outside the remit of an injunction and the injunction was quashed.

The case itself never went before a German jury.

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I had similar thoughts on the matter...

The case itself never went before a German jury

Maybe not, but I would think that if Microsoft were looking for reparations for being wronged in Germany that they would be required to do so in the jurisdiction under which they were wronged. The fact that they are both American companies should not make what happened in another country relevant to the American legal system.

I have no problem with Microsoft receiving payment from Google/Motorola as indemnification, but I would think that the payment for costs incurred in Germany should be decided by a German court instead. As it stands, I simply find that aspect of the settlement to be bizarre, but I do not know the entire situation and am most certainly (and thankfully) not a lawyer.

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Re: Microsoft were looking for reparations

I'm about as nativist a crazy 'Merkin as you're gonna find over here, and I can't argue with any of the facts in that whole sentence.

So I expect that given the jury was in Washington state, it will get overturned on appeals.

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WTF?

OK, I'm missing something here.

Motorola won a case against Microsoft in Germany - and somehow Microsoft got this court to make Motorola pay for the costs incurred as a result?! How the FRACK does that work?!

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Yes you missed something

The US judge insisted that Motorola not enforce the injunction. Microsoft did not need to relocate manufacturing at all.

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Re: OK, I'm missing something here.

You are missing the fact that an injunction and winning a court case are two completely different things. Its akin to saying a man was found guilty of murder by a court because he got refused bail.

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Re: Yes you missed something @Flocke Kroes

Definitely missed something, as MS weren't forced to relocate a warehouse, they choose to relocate it to the Netherlands as a way of sidestepping the potential German injunction. So I don't see why they should of received any compensation for this specific action.

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Facepalm

"a Washington jury had agreed with Microsoft's claim"

Well, imagine that! I would hardly expect them to disagree with Boeing or Amazon either.

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Headmaster

Re: "a Washington jury had agreed with Microsoft's claim"

I am not sure what your point is. Google and Moto are also American (or "Googerola" if you will) are they not?

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Thumb Down

Re: "a Washington jury had agreed with Microsoft's claim"

The USA is a republic of largely self-governing states with widely divergent cultures and parochial self-interests. In the US, local and state interests will almost always trump national interests. For the Seattle-area jurors, Motorola and Google could just as easily have been Korean, when compared with well-known and admired hometown companies like Microsoft.

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Re: The USA is a republic of

The USA is a republic of largely nominally self-governing states with widely divergent potentially diverse cultures and parochial self-interests. In the US, local and state interests will almost always are likely to trump national interests.

Yes, I think this case falls within those boundaries. Frankly the diversity/divergence of the cultures is much more along the lines of Emo Philips Ed/religion skit than any real diversity. (Starts with a guy named Ed who looks like a horse and is about to jump off a bridge). At work so I can't confirm a Google search for a link.

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So...

How many of those Washington(I'm assuming state of washington not D.C.) jurrors were members of MS employed families or in some way related?

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Anonymous Coward

@ Andraž 'ruskie' Levstik

"How many of those Washington (I'm assuming state of washington not D.C.) jurrors were members of MS employed families or in some way related?"

None. The prospective jurors would have been asked about it during the selection process and disqualified immediately.

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Velvin Hogan

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Re: So...

None would be employees, but most would, in some way, be benefiting from having a cash fountain up on the hill.

And no doubt many would have a negative feeling towards Californians who are kicking around their local boys. Nobody likes that feeling as they move from top-dog software state to underdog software state.

The poms must have felt the same thing when they taught the colonies rugby and then got thrashed.

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Happy

Re: So...

>The poms must have felt the same thing when they taught the colonies rugby and then got thrashed.

That's why we don't let people forget when we win: Agincourt, Waterloo, WWII, World Cup, etc. and in the case of the Aussie's: the Ashes, the Ashes and the Ashes. :))

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Re: disqualified immediately.

You would think that but you would be wrong.

I once sat on a case where one particular person should clearly have been excluded from the jury pool, but it wasn't until his number was actually pulled and they were about to seat the jury that he was eventually excluded when one side used a freebie to remove him. If all their freebies had been exhausted he would have sat on the trial.

Frankly I suspect he would have rendered a fair decision. He was friends with lawyers on both teams, knew the police well, and had friend in the real estate business. The case had to do with terms of a contract for an apartment complex that was sold to a different management company. But given that he was a doctor at the local hospital and the trial was expected to take 3 to 4 weeks or longer before deliberations started, I thought he should have been dismissed at the end of the first round of questions.

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Well break out the popcorn - turns out the jury forman is MS subsidised

http://www.washington.edu/alumni/columns/sept96/king4.html

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