Licensing : Microsoft files a new complaint against Motorola

November 10th, 2010 - 11:40 am ET by C. D.

After a first complaint for patent violations concerning the Android OS, Microsoft is once again attacking Motorola – this time for the abuse of licensing rights concerning wireless technologies and video encoding used in the Xbox console..

microsoft_logoAt the beginning of October 2010, Microsoft attacked handset manufacturer Motorola for patent violations related to the mobile technologies used within the Android OS without their authorisation.

The complaint is one of a list of complaints being filed between various players in the mobile industry to try and control mobile platforms and licensing rights of technologies employed, with the disputes to drag on for a number of years.

But Microsoft isn’t finished with Motorola as they are currently preparing a new complaint against the manufacturer. This time it’s not for patent violations but rather license rights demanded by Motorola which Microsoft believes are excessive.

To be or not to be in FRAND

Motorola logo (Small)The technologies in question are related to the wireless connectivity and video encoding used in the Xbox games console. Microsoft accuses Motorola of not respecting their engagement made to the international standardisation organisation stipulating that licenses for their technologies would be at a moderate and non-discriminatory tariff.

Microsoft therefore demands an adjustment in the license fees demanded by Motorola for the used of the proven and widely used technologies. This is in relation to the rights of FRAND applications (Fair, Reasonable and Non Discriminatory) which Motorola doesn’t apply.
Considering the nature of the technologies in question, and the fact that they only concern Microsoft’s games console, this is yet another quarrel around Smartphone’s notes Florian Mueller, developer and manager of regulations on his blog. After analysis of the situation and requests, even if this isn’t in relation to the breech of patents but instead abusive licenses, the heart of the problem is the monetary payments between the company’s and their lucrative licensing activity.

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