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Motorola Wants 2.25% of Microsoft's Surface Revenue 278

Posted by Soulskill
from the just-scratching-the-surface dept.
An anonymous reader writes "On the opening day of a patent trial between Microsoft and Google-owned Motorola Mobility, Motorola filed a brief (PDF) arguing that the WiFi tech central to the case is also critical to Microsoft's new Surface tablet. Motorola says royalties totaling 2.25% of all Surface revenues is a good starting point. They wrote, 'Microsoft's new Surface tablet will use only 802.11, instead of cellular or wired connections, to connect to the internet. Without 802.11 capability, the Surface tablet would be unable to compete in the market, because consumers can readily select tablet devices other than the Surface that have 802.11 capability.' Microsoft, of course, says this figure is outrageous, given 'Motorola's promise to standards bodies to offer access to the "standard essential" patents on fair and reasonable terms.'"
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Motorola Wants 2.25% of Microsoft's Surface Revenue

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  • by concealment (2447304) on Wednesday November 14, 2012 @09:25AM (#41979371) Homepage Journal

    It sounds like Motorola has patented using Wi-Fi on tablets.

    Are we really handing patents out for this?

    What if the tablet has a video connector, or a USB port. Who patented that?

    Can I be the guy who patented having a power connection on electronic devices? I'll sit back and let everyone else do the work for a change.

  • Re:Google Proxy War (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tgd (2822) on Wednesday November 14, 2012 @09:39AM (#41979511)

    It was Apple and Microsoft that started this war. Google is only winning the war that was brought to them. As they always have. It was Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer who said "I'm going to fucking kill Google. I've done it before and I can do it again." Back then Google was 1/30th their current size. Today it's more of a fair fight, as the two companies are about equal in market cap, but back then it was more of an existential real threat.

    Even today Google only sues back other companies that picked a fight.

    I think that's only partially correct -- I'd bet the real motivation (relatively to the devices in question) is the fact that most of the large Android manufacturers have cross-licensed patents with Microsoft, but a few haven't, and I'd bet Google is getting a lot of pressure from them. Telecommunication patents are a VERY deep thicket, and its a very expensive market to be in if you don't have a competitive portfolio so you can even-steven cross-license with everyone else. Apple and Google both do not have portfolios that deep, and have to fight with their smaller portfolios, rather than cross licensing. There's enough history (and existing licensing) between Apple and Microsoft that they just worked it out. Apple is then very selective about their direct attacks against Google-related properties (Samsung, etc) Google, on the other hand, bought Motorola for its IP portfolio and appears to think going after Microsoft will be better than going after Apple in the middle of the Samsung mess. (Likely rightfully so, best not to get sucked into that quagmire by association...)

    IMO, its a risky move by Google. Microsoft's patent portfolio is VERY deep in a lot of areas critical to Google, and this could backfire badly on them.

    Of course, anyone who has negotiated anything always starts way higher than you actually will settle. I bet they won't, though -- deep down this is a proxy battle over the things that really matter to Google. They critically need people using Android, Chromebooks and the ilk to keep eyeballs looking at their ads. They haven't knocked Apple down a notch in tablets, so I think they're trying to pre-emptively do so before the tide of web-to-app usage shifts far enough that their revenues completely dry up. And Microsoft is hitting them online with Bing and in devices now.

  • Re:Google Proxy War (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Bumbles (2573453) on Wednesday November 14, 2012 @09:58AM (#41979645)

    Then, by extension, Apple, Google, and a few hundred more companies should also go away because of their histories or their recent and current activities. Once you are for profit you become a dirt bag. Once you grow to a certain large size, you become even worse. That is just how it is.

  • Re:Google Proxy War (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 14, 2012 @10:05AM (#41979701)

    It was Apple and Microsoft that started this war.

    That's a stupid justification. If you're going to claim something is wrong if the side you dislike does it, then it is equally wrong if the side you like does it. Otherwise you're nothing but a hypocritical fanboi.

    If putting bad guys in their place is wrong, I don't want to be right!

  • by samjam (256347) on Wednesday November 14, 2012 @10:14AM (#41979783) Homepage Journal

    You just struck gold.

    MS don't want google to know how many surface tablets they are(n't) shipping, and that may be the reason to avoid the per-device payment.

    hah hah

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