Microsoft Files Complaint on EC Approval of Google-Motorola Mobility Buyout
Microsoft has filed a formal complaint against the approval of Google’s buyout of Motorola Mobility and claimed this means the demise of Windows PCs, Xbox gaming consoles and online video streaming.
The European Commission and the US FTC gave the go-ahead signal for the deal to push through, but Microsoft is not so eager to accept these facts, as it filed its preliminary complaint to the EC against Motorola Mobility about patent rights related to the H.264 video standard.
According to a blog post by Dave Heiner, VP and Deputy General Counsel at Microsoft, the recent filing revolves around a so-called attempt by Motorola to stop the sales of Windows computers, Xbox gaming consoles and several products.
“Their offense? These products enable people to view videos on the Web and to connect wirelessly to the Internet using industry standards,” he exacted.
The root problem circles on technical standards that companies, including Motorola Mobility, agreed on in the past.
Heiner added, “Motorola and all the other firms that contributed to these standards also made a promise to one another: that if they had any patents essential to the standards, they would make their patents available on fair and reasonable terms, and would not use them to block competitors from shipping their products.”
“Motorola has broken its promise. Motorola is on a path to use standard essential patents to kill video on the Web, and Google as its new owner doesn’t seem to be willing to change course.”
Heiner said that Google and Motorola are calling for Microsoft to pull out its products from the market, or get rid of videos based on the patented standards, and wireless connections.
“The only basis for these actions is that these products implement industry standards, on which Motorola claims patents,” he elaborated. “Yet when the industry adopted these standards, we all were counting on Motorola and every contributor to live up to their promises.”
He said that the EC has granted patents on “fair and reasonable” terms, but Motorola’s demands are unreasonable with a royalty of $22.50 on a single $1000 laptop.
“Imagine if every firm acted like Motorola. Windows implements more than 60 standards, and a PC supports about 200. If every firm priced its standard essential patents like Motorola, the cost of the patents would be greater than all the other costs combined in making PCs, tablets, smartphones and other devices,” he added. “Obviously, this would greatly increase the prices of these devices for consumers.”
Google chopped off support for the H.264 standard on claims of patent saturation early last year.