How much are Google's Motorola patents really worth?
Posted on 13 Nov 2012 at 10:14
Microsoft and Google's Motorola Mobility unit are set to square off today at a trial which could reveal financial information the two companies usually keep under wraps.
The proceeding in a Seattle federal court will determine how much of a royalty Microsoft should pay Google for a licence to some of Motorola's patents. Google bought Motorola for $12.5 billion, partly for its library of communications patents.
If District Judge James Robart decides Google deserves only a small royalty, then its Motorola patents would be a weaker bargaining chip for Google to negotiate licensing deals with rivals.
Apple and Microsoft have been litigating in courts around the world against Google and partners such as Samsung, which use the Android operating system on their mobile devices.
Apple contends that Android is basically a copy of its iOS smartphone software, and Microsoft holds patents that it contends cover a number of Android features.
Motorola had sought up to $4 billion a year for its wireless and video patents, while Microsoft argues its rival deserves just over $1 million a year. A federal judge in Wisconsin last week threw out a similar case brought by Apple against Google just before trial.
During the run-up to trial in Seattle, both Microsoft and Google asked Robart to keep secret a range of financial details about the two companies, including licensing deals and sales revenue projections. Google requested that Robart clear the courtroom when witnesses discuss those details.
However, in an order on Monday, Robart rejected that request. The public will not be able to view the documents describing patent deals or company sales during trial, Robart ruled, but testimony will be in open court.
"If a witness discloses pertinent terms, rates or payments, such information will necessarily be made public," the judge wrote.
Additionally, any documents the judge relies on for his final opinion will be disclosed.
Representatives for Microsoft and Google could not immediately comment on the ruling.
Is your business a social business? For helpful info and tips visit our hub.
The scourge of innovation. The biggest enabler of monopolies in the world.
And they're not even a bad thing in essence.. just a concept that has been transferred onto things that should not be patentable.
By dubiou on 13 Nov 2012
Agreed. This charade does not seem to benefit anyone except the lawyers.
Some credit should be given for the invention of nice bouncing animations etc., however the sums being claimed are ridiculous.
As for the rounded corners patent. That merely adds comedy value.
The big advantage of patents is that big companies can hit small companies with them. Unfortunately the converse does not apply. Apple have made a point of stealing other peoples ideas, and few have been paid for them.
By tirons1 on 13 Nov 2012
Nothing wrong with patents
The issue is that it seems a lot of patents in the tech sphere are given for the concept of what something does, rather than for the method of how it actually does something, which is ridiculous seeing as almost companies involved in modern tech are only where they are now thanks to the progress made by those that went before them. There are endless industries that would not exist as they do today if there hadn't been the freedom to adopt ideas and improve on them using different techniques.
By Phoomeister on 14 Nov 2012
- Getty joins the race to the bottom
- Hour of Code: five steps to learn how to code
- Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet review: first look
- Sony Xperia Z2 review: first look
- Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 review: first look
- Nokia XL review: first look
- Samsung Galaxy S5 review: first look
- Nokia X review: first look
- Censorship by copyright: Myles Powers and abuse of DMCA takedowns
- Turn an old smartphone into an in-car entertainment system
- Windows Server 2012 R2: how the Datacenter edition could change SMBs
- Invoices and VAT: how to set up your documents correctly
- Nexus 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S4 Active: the best phone for avoiding screen burn
- How much is a social user worth?
- The key to choosing a secure password
- Thunderbolt Bridge: a fast Mac migration tool
- Should you advertise on Twitter?
- How to track a lost smartphone
- Self-publishing success: the best way to sell your book
- 1.6TB SSD: why would you need one?