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Google loses another patent case to Microsoft

Google vs Microsoft patent wars
Glass company vs Windows company. What a pane

Google locked up more than 17,000 Motorola patents in its acquisition of the smartphone maker last year, but it's having a hard time collecting the royalties it wants from rivals like Microsoft.

The latest case occurred this week when a federal court in Seattle sided with Microsoft in its claim that Motorola breached agreements to license its patents at a reasonable rate.

Motorola wanted $4 billion a year (about £2.56 billion, AU$4.38 billion) for patents on technology used in Microsoft's Xbox 360 hardware and Windows 7 software.

A U.S. district judge last year ruled that the fair rate was about $1.8 million a year (about £1.15 million, AU$1.97 million), a far cry from what Motorola demanded.

Today's grand total

At the crux of today's jury verdict was Motorola's temporary injunction in Germany last year that caused Microsoft to relocate a warehouse from Germany to the Netherlands.

The ruling awarded Microsoft around $15 million (£9.6 million, AU$16.2 million) in damages for the relocation and legal fees it had incurred.

"This is a landmark win for all who want products that are affordable and work well together," Microsoft said in a statement.

Naturally, Motorola had the opposite opinion and vowed to fight the jury's verdict.

"We're disappointed in this outcome, but look forward to an appeal of the new legal issues raised in the case," said William Moss, Director of International and Corporate Communication at Motorola.

Google's other patent losses

This isn't the first loss for the Google-owned Motorola. The company had 13 patents claims thrown out after a court ruled in Microsoft's favor earlier this year.

The next month, Motorola's campaign against Xbox 360 started to sour when a U.S. judge ruled that the video game console didn't violate the company's patents.

Worst of all, not even German courts sided with Google in its pursuit of Microsoft over Motorola's standard essential patents.


Matt Swider

US Editor-in-Chief

Matt Swider is TechRadar's gadget-savvy, globe-trotting US Editor-in-Chief who leads the US team in New York City. He began his tech journalism career all the way back in 1999 at the age of 14, and first started writing for TechRadar in 2012. He's tested over 1,000 phones, tablets and wearables and commands a Twitter account of 777,000+ followers. Matt received his journalism degree from Penn State University and is never seen without his TechRadar headphones.