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Google drops patent claims from Microsoft infringement complaint

09 Jan 2013

Google subsidiary Motorola Mobility has dropped two patent claims from a lawsuit it instigated against Microsoft.

Motorola Mobility has asked the International Trade Commission (ITC) to drop two video coding patents from its complaint against Microsoft. The decision comes following a recent Federal Trade Commission (FTC) probe, which saw the search giant agree to amend its patent strategy.

"Motorola Mobility is serving the public interest by terminating the H.264 patents because this will save the Commission's, the [judge's], and the private parties' resources and time by eliminating two more patents from this case," Motorola Mobility wrote in its filing.

The filing means that patents 6,980,596 and 7,162,094 will be dropped from the complaint. Both patents covered technology used for coding H.264 video formats. They were collectively called the H.264 patents.

Motorola Mobility had originally claimed that the patents where illegally used by Microsoft's Xbox and Windows Phone devices. The smartphone maker had hoped that the ITC complaint would lead to a sales ban on the devices which infringed the patents.

Microsoft had been shooting down the claims of infringement since the case originally hit headlines in 2010. The company claimed that Motorola was seeking unfairly excessive royalty payments for the standard-essential patents.

Motorola Mobility's dismissal of the claims follows a recent Google settlement with the FTC. Following a lengthy investigation, Google had agreed to no longer use standard-essential patents in cases involving product injunctions.

In a statement sent into V3, Microsoft counsel said they are pleased that the Google subsidiary has dismissed the claims and hope that more infringement claim dismissals will soon follow.

"We're pleased that Google has finally withdrawn these claims for exclusion orders against Microsoft, and hope that it will now withdraw similar claims pending in other jurisdictions as required by the FTC Consent Order," said Microsoft corporate vice president and deputy general counsel David Howard.

While the two patents were dismissed the case will still move ahead on other claims. The remaining infringement claims will involve patents which don't qualify as standard-essential.

Google was unavailable for comment at the time of writing.

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James Dohnert

James is a freelance writer and editor. In addition to ClickZ, his work has appeared in publications like V3, The Commonwealth Club,, and Shonen Jump magazine. He studied Journalism at Weber State University.

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