Patent wars are everywhere nowadays and one good example is the ongoing legal battle between Google and Microsoft. An expert witness from Google said that Microsoft will make about $94 billion in revenue until 2017 from its new tablet, Surface, and Xbox gaming console that use Motorola’s patented wireless technology.
Expert witness Michael Dansky gave testimony on Tuesday for Google’s newly acquired Motorola Mobility unit. The $94 billion amount he mentioned also included the wireless adapter that Microsoft is no longer selling. He did not state though how far back he counted the past revenues.
Microsoft did not comment on the figure or during the proceedings on the last day of the high stakes trial in Seattle.
The 1 week trial in a federal court in Seattle will look at the amount Microsoft will pay Motorola Corp for its patents. Google acquired Motorola Mobility earlier this year for $12.5 billion, mainly because of its huge collection of communication patents.
Motorola is demanding a $4 billion per year royalty cost from Microsoft. The patents include some wireless- and video-related technology owned by Motorola. Microsoft claims the total royalty cost it should pay every year to Motorola is only over $1 million.
If the federal court will favor Microsoft’s argument, Google may have lost its vaunted bargaining chip in negotiating licensing deals with other companies including Microsoft.
The booming mobile industry has triggered several high profile patent litigations between big companies as they vie ownership of underlying technology and handset designs.
Microsoft, together with Apple Inc, is embroiled in patent disputes around the world against Google and its hardware-maker partners like Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, which uses the Android operating system on their smartphones.
Apple argues that Android is merely a copy of its iOS, while Microsoft contends that it owns patents that Android phones are using.
Motorola and other hardware vendors are firing back with their own counter lawsuits against both companies.
Prior to the start of the trial, Judge Robart expressed that agreements between Motorola, Microsoft, and other companies regarding patent license could be revealed to the public, together with some sensitive financial information.
But citing an appellate precedent, Robart reversed his statement by making the proceeding private, clearing the courtroom during a two-hour testimony.
Dansky said that the video technology Microsoft and other tech companies are using is crucial, thus Motorola deserves higher royalty.
He said it will be difficult to sell tablets and smartphones without using Motorola’s patented technology.
The case can drag on for weeks if both companies will provide more legal briefs.