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.
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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

Stephen! Member since:
2007-11-24

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.


Wouldn't the solution just be for Goggle to sell their own Android phone/tablet. Microsoft would then have to deal with Google directly - "You infringe our patents, blah, blah, blah" ....

They'd then have to disclose what the offending patents are. And with that information, Google could just modify Android and Microsoft wouldn't have a leg to stand on.

Reply Parent Score: 2

TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

Not really. Microsoft might not sue Google who has the money to fight this forever. This is about stifling competition, not about who is right or wrong.

Reply Parent Score: 3

kurkosdr Member since:
2011-04-11

" Wouldn't the solution just be for Goggle to sell their own Android phone/tablet. Microsoft would then have to deal with Google directly - "You infringe our patents, blah, blah, blah" ...."

Isn't Google already doing that with Motorola? Motorola refused to pay a cent to Microsoft when they were approached for the usual Android fee (and that stance continues under the Google leadership), so Microsoft was forced to reveal the patents they were asserting. So, we should focus on how that Microsoft vs Motorola court battle regarding Android patents is going.

Edited 2012-03-20 09:30 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1