Court Rules That Motorola Cannot Use FRAND Patents For Xbox 360 Injunction

Posted Dec 2, 2012

Motorola Mobility attempted to ban the Xbox 360 by claiming a patent violation.  The International Trade Commission agreed that Microsoft was infringing on the patents, but Microsoft was claiming that Motorola wanted too much money to license the standards-essential patents so they fought the ban.

It has been about two weeks since a trial started in Seattle and U.S. District Court Judge Robart agreed to dismiss Motorola’s injunctive relief attempts based on their fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) patents and said that Motorola will have to pursue royalties instead of attempting to ban patents.

“Because Motorola cannot show irreparable harm or that monetary damages would be inadequate, the court agrees with Microsoft that injunctive relief is improper in this matter and grants Microsoft?s motion.”

Judge Robart said that a ban does not make sense because of the specifics in the court case.  They said that “litigation in this matter has progressed to the point that it is now clear that a license agreement will result for all of Motorola?s H.264 standard essential patents.”

Eventually Microsoft and Motorola will have to agree on a royalty rate.  FRAND patents are intended for companies to agree on a fair rate to push for wider adoption and there is concern that if companies simply sue using those patents, the standards will not take off.