Microsoft is taking more legal action against its former partner Motorola. A new lawsuit
filed yesterday in a Seattle federal court alleges that Motorola charges "excessive and discriminatory" amounts on royalty payments for technology used in Xbox consoles. Microsoft claims that during IEEE and ITU processing Motorola pledged to license its patents for WLAN and H.264 video technology at fair and reasonable prices. They go on to argue that royalty fees should be based on the cost of the components in question and not the overall sale price of the device being sold.
This comes one month after Microsoft accused Motorola
of infringing on nine patents used in its Android-based smartphones. The main patent in question involves Microsoft's Exchange ActiveSync, an e-mail, calendar, and contact syncing technology that all of the major Android phone producers pay to use, with the exception of Motorola. The licensing fee is a major investment though -- somewhere in the hundreds of millions of dollars -- and has already been purchased by Google for the development and use of Android. This raises the issue of Microsoft forcing hardware developers to purchase their own additional licenses, and could be an attempt to slow or discourage the adoption of Android by more manufacturers. Amusing given the charges of excess and discrimination from yesterday's lawsuit.