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Microsoft victory in patent licensing suit

North Carolina technology sector analysts took note earlier this month as Microsoft was handed a victory in its court battle with Motorola Mobility, a handset maker owned by Google, over patent licensing fees. The breach of contract award ordered Motorola to pay $14.5 million to the software giant for its alleged failure to provide reasonable licensing terms for standard essential patents for video and wireless technology. In this instance, the technology is used in Microsoft's Xbox video gaming console. The award is only half of the $29 million in damages originally sought by Microsoft.

Microsoft first sued Motorola in 2010 because of claims that Motorola was charging too much for its licensing royalties on the essential patents. Microsoft was being required to pay as much as $4 billion in royalties for the use of patented standards that were key ingredients of Microsoft's Xbox console and its Windows operating system. Microsoft was reportedly willing to pay royalties for the licensing, but not the 2.25 percent of the product's price sought by Motorola.

As might have been expected, Microsoft praised the ruling, and Motorola vowed to continue its fight with an appeal. A Microsoft lawyer called the ruling a landmark win for everyone wanting affordable products that work well together. A Motorola spokesperson said that the company was disappointed in the outcome but looked forward to appealing some of the new legal issues raised in the case.

Intellectual property disputes can be costly and inconvenient for companies trying to succeed in the North Carolina technology industry. Whether an organization is dealing with international business issues or deceptive trade practices here at home, an attorney experienced in these matters may be a valuable ally in and out of the courtroom.

Source: CNET, "Microsoft awarded $14.5M in Motorola patent licensing suit", Steven Musil, September 04, 2013

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