Microsoft is no stranger to signing up Android vendors to licensing agreements. Most of the major Android device manufactures are already paying the company royalties, and Microsoft is currently involved in various cases with Motorola in the U.S. and elsewhere. The latest from Microsoft’s intellectual property group is a statement posted by the group’s head Horacio Gutierrez and Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith (via AllThingsD). In a message titled “A Solid Foundation for Peace”, Microsoft explained its willingness to negotiate a settlement of its current litigation with Motorola:
Microsoft has always been, and remains open to, a settlement of our patent litigation with Motorola. As we have said before, we are seeking solely the same level of reasonable compensation for our patented intellectual property that numerous other Android distributors – both large and small – have already agreed to recognize in our negotiations with them. And we stand ready to pay reasonable compensation for Motorola’s patented intellectual property as well.
However, within the post, Microsoft also noted its requirements for reaching a settlement over its various Android-related patent cases with Motorola—which include a comprehensive agreement covering all patents in question:
Best iPhone, iPad, & Apple TV game controllers
Any approach that does not lead to the cessation of all the pending litigation will be short lived. Motorola’s public proposal to take a license for only a small sub-set of the large number of Microsoft patents used in its products will not result in durable patent peace. That proposal was cleverly designed by Motorola to sidestep the ITC exclusion order by “cherry picking” the ActiveSync proprietary technology that gave rise to that order, while continuing the remaining lawsuits against Microsoft in the U.S. and Germany. This is not a recipe for patent peace, but only for selectively disarming an opponent.
Microsoft laid out various other stipulations, such as Google continuing to honor its FRAND commitments for standards-essential patents:
Second, any agreement must be based on market rates. There are good objective benchmarks to value the patents involved in our disputes. For example, Motorola has asserted patents that it claims are essential to the H.264 industry standard, a video codec standard that is used to encode and decode more than 80 percent of the video on the Internet. Twenty-nine companies owning more than 2,400 patents essential to the standard license them via a patent pool, and more than 1,100 companies (including Google) are licensees. Clearly, this pool provides a widely accepted market rate for H.264 patents. Likewise, Microsoft has licensing agreements with makers of a majority of Android handsets sold in the U.S. These agreements show broad industry acceptance of our licensing rates. These and other well-established market rates, along with appropriate safeguards to ensure Google lives up to its FRAND commitments in the future, provide the basis for a durable settlement between the parties of their existing patent disputes.
Google has not responded to Microsoft or issued a public statement regarding the post.