A while back, Microsoft decided to sue Motorola (owned by Google) over Motorola’s use of ActiveSync in their Android phones. ActiveSync, in a nutshell, updates calendar automatically. Most smart phone manufacturers have already settled with Microsoft by paying royalties.
Anyways, in retaliation, Motorola sued Microsoft over Microsoft’s violation of Motorola’s patents. They include Wi-fi tech, video decoding, and communication between console and accessories, all of which are present in Microsoft’s gaming console, the XBOX 360.
Last month, an International Trade Commission administrative law judge recommended an import ban on all devices in question. These include Windows and XBOX 360 on Microsoft’s end, and Android phones on Motorola’s.
Now, Motorola has offered a deal to Microsoft. The phone manufacturer will pay Microsoft 33 cents for each Android phone (which has ActiveSync implemented) sold. In return Microsoft will pay Motorola 2.25% for each XBOX 360 sold, and 50 cents for each copy of Windows. It is unknown whether if those 2.25% account for only the profits or revenues.
There is no doubt in my mind they will get things sorted out before the whole situation gets worse. Microsoft has already lost their battle in Germany. Unless the issue is settled, ITC can impose import bans. It’s all about the Benjamins baby, and they don’t want to lose money over something stupid like this. What I believe will happen is Microsoft will end up paying less than the current proposed terms to Motorola. Bottom-line, this case will be settled out of court. Everyone goes home happy.
UPDATE: As of this morning, the case has been dismissed by Judge Richard Posner “with prejudice” between the firms, meaning that neither can re-file the suit – but an appeal is possible. More on that from BBC News…