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A Seattle judge is upset that Microsoft and Motorola are using the courts to negotiate patent licensing fees, but he can’t do anything about it.As Geekwire reports, after hearing testimony from both sides today, judge James Robart said, “The court is well aware that it is being played as a pawn in a global industry-wide business negotiation.”
He added that both companies’ testimony “has been arbitrary, it has been arrogant, and frankly it appears to be based on hubris.”
Microsoft filed the lawsuit to get out of paying what it calls outrageous licensing fees for Motorola patents used in Wi-Fi and video standards, which are incorporated into the Xbox. If Microsoft paid what Motorola asked, it might be on the hook for more than $4 billion a year from Xbox sales. But Microsoft itself has been the aggressor in other patent deals, in particular asking Android resellers — including Motorola — to buy patent licenses for Microsoft technology, then suing them if they don’t comply.
Making matters more contentious, Google is in the process of buying Motorola, in part to offer patent protection to its Android resellers.
Now, you can add at least one judge to the list of critics.