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Microsoft and Motorola Go to|Court Over Wireless Patents

SEATTLE (CN) - Microsoft and Motorola are fighting a cross-country patent battle. Motorola accused Microsoft of patent infringement this week in Madison, Wisc., one day after Microsoft sued Motorola in Seattle, claiming Motorola is demanding "excessive and discriminatory" fees for its patents on "essential" wireless technology. Microsoft also sued Motorola last month over technology used in the Android phone.

In Microsoft's recent complaint in Seattle, it claims Motorola "broke its promise" to the International Telecommunications Union and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Standards Association to license "essential" wireless technology patents at a reasonable rate.

"Motorola broke its promises to license patents it asserted as related to wireless technologies known as 'WLAN' and to video coding technologies generally known as 'H.264' under reasonable rates, with reasonable terms, and under non-discriminatory conditions," the complaint states.

Microsoft says it relied on Motorola's promises in developing its Xbox video game consoles, Windows 7 and Windows Phone 7.

"In willful disregard of the commitments it made to IEEE and the ITU, Motorola has refused to extend to Microsoft a license consistent with Motorola's promises for any of Motorola's identified patents," the complaint states. "Instead, Motorola is demanding royalty payments that are wholly disproportionate to the royalty rate that its patents should command under any reasonable calculus. Motorola has discriminatorily chosen Microsoft's Xbox product line and other multifunction, many-featured products and software, such as Windows 7 and Windows Phone 7 and products incorporating Microsoft software, for the purpose of extracting unreasonable royalties from Microsoft."

Microsoft seeks an order that it is entitled to any and all patents that Motorola deems "essential" to WLAN technology under reasonable rates, with reasonable terms and conditions that are demonstrably free of unfair discrimination.

A day after Microsoft sued in Seattle Federal Court, Motorola filed patent infringement claims in Madison over the disputed technology. Motorola claims Microsoft's PC and Server software, Windows mobile software and Xbox products infringe on 16 Motorola patents.

"Motorola has invested billions of dollars in R&D to create a deep and broad intellectual property portfolio and we will continue to do what is necessary to protect our proprietary technology," Kirk Dailey, vice president of intellectual property at Motorola Mobility, said in a statement.

He added: "It is unfortunate that Microsoft has chosen the litigation path rather than entering into comprehensive licensing negotiations, as Motorola has mutually beneficial licensing relationships with the great majority of technology companies industry-wide."

Motorola wants Microsoft enjoined infringing on its patents, and damages for infringement.

Microsoft fired back: "This move is typical of the litigation process and we are not surprised. We remain confident in our position and will continue to move forward with the complaints we initiated against Motorola." Horacio Gutierrez, Microsoft's vice president and deputy general counsel for intellectual property and licensing, issued that statement.

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