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Judge rules on FRAND in Motorola-Microsoft case

A US judge has issued a ruling on royalties in a dispute between Motorola and Microsoft, in the first decision on FRAND rates for standard-essential patents

On Thursday April 25, Judge James L Robart of the US District Court for the Western District of Washington ruled that Microsoft had to pay Motorola Mobility $1.8 million a year for the use of standard-essential patents relating to the H.264 video standard and the 802.11 wireless standard.

Microsoft used the technologies in its Xbox and Windows products.

Motorola had sought some $4 billion in royalties but Robart calculated that the FRAND rate for the H.264 patents should be .0555 cents per unit. The rate for the 802.11 patents should be 3.471 cents for each Xbox and 0.8 cents for other products

Patent owners and licensees in the computer and telecoms industries are engaged in numerous disputes over standard-essential patents, which have to be licensed on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms.

This is the first case to determine how FRAND royalty rates should be calculated. Other cases pending include a dispute between Apple and Motorola in the US, and one between IPCom and Nokia in the UK.

For more analysis, see Florian Mueller’s Foss Patents blog.

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