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Judge upholds Microsoft's restraining order against Motorola in 'arrogant' lawsuit
Judge upholds Microsoft's restraining order against Motorola in 'arrogant' lawsuit
May 8, 2012 | By Mike Rose

May 8, 2012 | By Mike Rose

A Seattle federal judge has said that he will need more time to consider Motorola Mobility's lawsuit against Microsoft over alleged patent infringements, calling the way in which both companies have conducted themselves "arrogant" and "based on hubris."

Google subsidiary Motorola Mobility had previously claimed that Microsoft's Xbox 360 infringed on five of its patents, including video decoding and wi-fi technology from the company.

Earlier this month, a judge agreed that Microsoft has infringed on four of these patents, while a German court granted Motorola an injunction against the distribution of various Microsoft products in Germany.

However, the company was told that it must await a decision by Judge James Robart of the U.S. District Court of Western Washington regarding whether it can enforce the action from the German court. Following a hearing this week, Judge Robart has now said that he needs more time to consider both sides of the argument.

According to the Seattle Times, he noted that it is likely he will deny Motorola's motion for Microsoft to give up its right to licenses under reasonable terms. He also said he will most likely deny Microsoft's own action against Motorola, in which Microsoft alleges that Motorola is charging "excessive and discriminatory" royalties for patents.

"The court is well aware it is being used as a pawn in a global, industry-wide business negotiation," he stated, before adding that the argument between the two companies "has been driven by an attempt to secure commercial advantage."

"To an outsider looking at it, it has been arbitrary, it has been arrogant and frankly it has been based on hubris," he added.

Microsoft released a statement following the hearing which read, "We look forward to seeing Judge Robart's decision on today's hearing and we are pleased the temporary restraining order remains in place pending the further ruling from the court."

Motorola said, "We remain confident that Motorola Mobility has honored its FRAND [fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms] commitments, and have a long history of successful and amicable cross-licensing relationships with more than 50 companies. Despite this, Microsoft has refused to negotiate and has instead initiated and continued to pursue an aggressive litigation strategy aimed at attacking Motorola Mobility and the Android platform."

"Regardless of their transparent tactics, we are focused on resolving this matter in a way that fairly compensates Motorola Mobility for the use of our valuable IP and protects the interests of our stakeholders."

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David Amador
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this patent bull**** must end

Michael Rooney
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Google V. Microsoft may be the spark needed to give a serious look at software patents.

I don't understand how you could patent video encoding tbh. You aren't allowed to patent mathematical algorithms, so why would you be allowed to patent the implementation of them?

I don't know anything about their wifi patents though, so those might be legit.

Benjamin Quintero
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There is no such thing as a legit software patent. Anything that someone creates can be and will eventually be created by someone else, especially in software development. The idea of patents for things like data formats, protocols, raster techniques, compression, and so on; these are frivolous ideas that any group would eventually stumble upon in time. Patents are only marginally useful in protecting simple mechanical devices like a Swiss Army knife, or some fancy folding wrench set; as-seen-on-tv type of household gimmicks. They have no place in the technology industry, period.

Christopher Enderle
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Perhaps they could operate like pharmaceutical patents and quickly expire. That way there's still incentive to come up with something first.

I still don't get how an American court can weigh in on what goes on in Germany.

Craig Page
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How long would it take for the patent system to actually get fixed, if judges granted injunctions against the distribution of most Microsoft and Motorola products? I'm guessing less than a week...

Glenn Sturgeon
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If MS agreed to pay for the rights needed to produce the 360, then they agreed.
This isn't quite the same but it brings to mind MS screwing Nvidia on the original XBOX GPUs. They agreed to a contracted price then later (after production was done) refused to pay that price. They seem to hold up to agreements only as long as they want to. It's just another reason i don't support MS in the console realm.

Glenn Sturgeon
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oops it double posted.

Joe Wreschnig
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"The court is well aware it is being used as a pawn in a global, industry-wide business negotiation"

You know, if two individual citizens tried this, they'd be found in contempt and have to pay large fines, if not thrown in jail for a day or two to cool down. Wouldn't it be great if we held corporate executives responsible for the kind of thing corporate executives are supposed to be responsible for?

Jeffrey Crenshaw
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Corporations are people my friend -- people who are not beholden to the same laws as the rest of us.

Jeffrey Crenshaw
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""The court is well aware it is being used as a pawn in a global, industry-wide business negotiation," he stated, before adding that the argument between the two companies "has been driven by an attempt to secure commercial advantage.""

It gives me hope that the judicial branch of the united states realizes what is going on, but I also feel pessimistic that there is anything that can be done to stop neofeudalism now that globalization is in full effect, save for a revolution. Corporations are the new sovereign states, CEOs their kings.

Gregory Booth
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There's no doubt the patent system in the U.S. is broken and software patents are a problem.

Is the patent overhaul signed by Obama going to make things better, worse?

Trolls however sometimes get sent packing by the courts. see Jagex vs. Paltalk
I for one am a fan of companies, like Jagex for example, that take a stand and make an example of patent trolls. We need more.

Some links re: software patents

Bilski, of course:

Jagex vs. Paltalk

IP Watchdog on Patent trolls (Somewhat pro software patent?)

Analysis of Bilski

America Invents

Petition to the Whitehouse!/petition/direct-patent-office-cease-issuing-so ftware-patents/vvNslSTq