This afternoon the RAND breach of contract case between Microsoft and Motorola went to the jury, and this evening — after just a few short hours of deliberation — the jury came back with its verdict.  According to Curtis Cartier (@curtis_cartier on Twitter), a freelance journalist who attended the trial, the jury found for Microsoft “on every question asked of them” and awarded $14.5M in damages to Microsoft.  (Note that this is approximately half of the total damages that Microsoft was seeking as compensation for Motorola’s alleged RAND breach of contract).

We can expect Motorola to try to get Judge Robart to set aside all or part of the verdict on post-trial motions, and probably appeal if that does not work (but to which court?).  In the meantime, we now have seen what appears to be the first jury verdict finding a breach of contractual RAND obligations…

  • Here’s some initial coverage on the verdict from Janet Tu at the Seattle Times, including an initial reaction from Microsoft.
  • This article from Susan Decker at Bloomberg features quotes from both Microsoft and Motorola representatives:
    • Microsoft: “This is a landmark win for all who want products that are affordable and work well together.  The jury’s verdict is the latest in a growing list of decisions by regulators and courts telling Google to stop abusing patents.”
    • Motorola: “We’re disappointed in this outcome, but look forward to an appeal of the new legal issues raised in this case.”

Also yesterday, both Microsoft and Motorola each filed motions for judgment as a matter of law (commonly known as JMOL motions), asserting that because no reasonable jury could find otherwise, Judge Robart should find in their (respective) favor on various issues.  The court has taken these motions under advisement — if you’d like to check out the motions, we’ve linked to them below.

[UPDATE]  The jury verdict form has now been made available [LINK].  The jury did in fact find for Microsoft on all counts, and did not unanimously — 8-0.  [/UPDATE]