Last week, the Federal Circuit granted a motion by Microsoft for permission to file an amicus brief in the Apple-Motorola appeal (No. 12-1548, Judge Posner edition). Microsoft then filed its amicus brief, becoming the latest in a long time of companies (see, e.g., here, here, here, and here) to weigh in on the case. Today, the public version of Microsoft’s brief became available. In it, Microsoft supports Apple and Judge Posner, but cautions the Federal Circuit against making an overly broad ruling and deciding issues related to standard-essential patents and RAND licensing obligations that are not present before the court.
Microsoft pulls no punches — it argues at the outset that Motorola’s positions “are wrong as a legal matter and terrible as a policy matter.” That should come as no surprise, given Microsoft’s current litigation disputes with Motorola (as well as ongoing competition with its parent company, Google). But Microsoft claims that its interest in this case goes far beyond its adversarial relationship with Motorola, arguing that as an active participant in many SSOs and implementer of many standards, Microsoft wants to ensure that standards are broadly implemented for the benefit of the public.