Google shoots themselves in the Foot in a Landmark Legal Case today that Could Change Royalty Payment Formulas Forever
Yesterday we posted a report titled "A Landmark Patent Case Opens Tomorrow that Could Affect the Entire Tech Sector and Specifically the Apple-Ericsson Battle." The report was about the intensifying battle over companies like Microsoft, Apple and Intel fighting to pay lower patent royalties for chips and wireless technology. The Engineering Group Known as the IEEE has already ruled that a new patent royalty formula will be worked out where tech companies will only pay royalties on the specific chip or part in a mobile device instead of a percentage of the total price of a device. Today, the trial between Google and Microsoft began over royalty payment fees with Google shooting themselves in the foot.
It's being reported late this afternoon by Reuters that "a U.S. appeals court appeared skeptical on Wednesday toward Google Inc's bid to charge Microsoft Corp a high royalty rate to use some of the Internet search provider's Motorola Mobility patents.
The value of Google's patents can affect how it negotiates royalty rates with other tech companies, and firms including Apple and Intel Corp filed court papers supporting Microsoft in this case.
In the initial 2012 trial before U.S. District Judge James Robart, it was ruled that the appropriate royalty rate was about $1.8 million, slightly above Microsoft's estimate, but well below Motorola's demand for as much as $4 billion a year. Google appealed which led to today's court proceedings.
Google asked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday to rule that the patent rate should have been determined by a jury, not the judge.
However, all three members of the 9th Circuit panel suggested that Google's attorneys had not sought a jury trial on that issue at the time. Chief Judge Sidney Thomas said that "It seems pretty clear... that both parties anticipated a bench trial."
Hmm, that wasn't exactly a good opening argument. The ruling on this is likely to take several months, but it could be a game changer if Google loses their appeal.
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