Microsoft has followed Apple by filing a formal complaint against Motorola with the European Commission (EC) over what it sees as a clear abuse of its industry standard patents, with Google's tacit backing.
Apple filed its complaint on Monday and on Wednesday, Microsoft's deputy general counsel for its anti-trust group, Dave Heiner, revealed the firm had done likewise in a detailed blog post outlining the firm's concerns with Motorola's stance on industry standard patent use.
"Motorola has broken its promise. Motorola is on a path to use standard essential patents to kill video on the web [in reference to the H.264 standard], and Google as its new owner doesn't seem to be willing to change course," he said.
Heiner added that while competition officials had approved Google's purchase of Motorola, their stern warnings to the firms over any abuse of standard patents was a clear indicator the industry is concerned by these developments.
"At the urging of competition law officials, Microsoft recently announced that it will not seek injunctions against other firms' products on the basis of standard essential products (and has never done so). Apple and Cisco made similar statements. Unfortunately, Google refused," he said.
"Not surprisingly, the European Commission does not seem to be satisfied. We know other companies in the industry share our concerns. Last week, Apple filed its own complaint against Motorola with the European Commission."
Heiner also gave some details on the costs that Motorola is demanding, explaining it is going far beyond those requested by itself and others in the industry.
"For a $1,000 laptop, Motorola is demanding that Microsoft pay a royalty of $22.50 for its 50 patents on the video standard, H.264. As it turns out, there are at least 2,300 other patents needed to implement this standard," he said.
"They are available from a group of 29 companies that came together to offer their H.264 patents to the industry on FRAND terms. Microsoft's patent royalty to this group on that $1,000 laptop? Two cents."
Microsoft also pre-empted any criticisms from Google that it has undertaken similar action against Android manufacturers, claiming that its licensing deals have only been implemented for non-industry standard patents.
"Microsoft is not seeking to block Android manufacturers from shipping products on the basis of standard essential patents," Heiner said.
"Rather, Microsoft is focused on infringement of patents that it has not contributed to any industry standard. And Microsoft is making its patents, standard essential and otherwise, available to all Android manufacturers on fair and reasonable terms."
The scathing comments are yet another escalation in the growing feud between Microsoft and Google as the two firms clash on numerous issues.
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