Linked by David Adams on Mon 19th Mar 2012 01:58 UTC, submitted by anda_skoa
Legal Notorious competition law offender Microsoft has asked the EU's competition department to look into Motorola's behavior regarding patent licences vital for h.264 video. Microsoft complains that Motorola doesn't play by the usual rules and wants to decide by itself how much they want to charge for patents it owns. According to Microsoft, acceptable behavior for patent owners is to licence patens vital for industry standards at rates of single-digits-cents per device and ask for double-digits-cent amounts only for patents not necessary for implementing such standards. Since according to Microsoft's complaints at least some of the patents abused that way are related to h.264 video encoding/decoding, one has to wonder how much MPEG LA's ensurance of patent safety is now worth.
Thread beginning with comment 511040
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
Single Digit Cents vs Several Dollars
by dionicio on Mon 19th Mar 2012 03:16 UTC
dionicio
Member since:
2006-07-12

As I can remember Microsoft
is charging several US dollars
for every Android device..

?

Reply Score: 7

l3v1 Member since:
2005-07-06

It's always nicer to make others eat crap, than to be forced to eat it. And as always, in these circles, winning doesn't just mean to be sure you win, it's also about making sure the other looses. MS has always taken very badly when anyone wanted to treat them as they treat everyone else.

Reply Parent Score: 11

ggeldenhuys Member since:
2006-11-13

+1

If I was a judge, I'd laugh them out of court!

Reply Parent Score: 2

cyrilleberger Member since:
2006-02-01

The difference is that Microsoft is not asserting "standard essential" patents against Android. And during the development of the MP4 standard, Motorola willingly agreed to license its MP4 essential patents for a fair price. And 22.5$ for a 1000$ laptop is everything but a fair price.

Even though the whole thing is about Motorola retaliation against Microsoft, combined with Google attempt at protecting Android, in front of the law, the bad and misbehaving guy is Motorola, which is abusing FRAND patents.

Reply Parent Score: 3

Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

The difference is that Microsoft is not asserting "standard essential" patents against Android.

Oh but they might be, we just don't know thanks to the secretive way in which Microsoft is conducting their protection racket.

All the patents Microsoft are threatening others with are undisclosed - meaning it is neither possible to work around said patents nor research into them without going through the entire court process. Furthermore MS are forcing companies that do pay into their loyalty scheme to sign a NDA meaning that every other company is equally left out of the loop.

So some of MS's patents might be just as essential for all we know.


And during the development of the MP4 standard, Motorola willingly agreed to license its MP4 essential patents for a fair price. And 22.5$ for a 1000$ laptop is everything but a fair price.

$22.5 per $1000 laptop is unfair yet $15 per $300 device is?
Using your figures Motorola is taking just 2% while MS is taking 5% and refuse to publish the patents in which Motorola are being charge for.

Furthermore, MS's fee is identical to the cost of Windows Phone 7 licensing. So Redmond actually make more money off the back of Android sales than they do for WP7 yet have contributed absolutely nothing towards Android development nor have disclosed why they are legally entitled to any royalties at all.


Don't get me wrong, I think in an ideal world Motorola shouldn't be charging as much as they do on MPEG-related licenses - particularly not ones covered by FRAND. However if you're comparing like for like between Motoroloa and MS, then Microsoft easily come off looking the worst for patent bullying.

Reply Parent Score: 12

Beta Member since:
2005-07-06

The difference is that Microsoft is not asserting "standard essential" patents against Android.


Patents include file naming in the de‐facto system used by digital cameras… pretty essential imo.

Reply Parent Score: 5