This past Tuesday, Judge James L. Robart held a telephonic hearing in the Microsoft-Motorola RAND breach of contract dispute taking place in his W.D. Wash. court.  As we discussed last week, the hearing centered on Microsoft’s request that the court release a previously-ordered $100 million bond — a bond that it had required Microsoft to

It’s been relatively quiet in the Western District of Washington over the past couple weeks, as Motorola and Microsoft move forward toward an August jury trial on Microsoft’s RAND-based breach of contract claims.  But according to a minute order filed by the court this past Tuesday, this week the parties raised two separate disputes for

In the wake of the ITC’s landmark exclusion order barring imports of certain Apple 3G products, we noticed an interesting question raised by Prof. Brian J. Love of Santa Clara law school, among others:


Professor Love is referring to one of several legislative recommendations and executive actions related to the patent system and patent litigation

A couple weeks ago, Apple directed the Federal Circuit’s attention to the Microsoft-Motorola RAND-setting opinion.  Apple claimed that in a variety of ways, Judge Robart’s decision supported Apple’s arguments on appeal.  This past Friday, Motorola filed a brief response to Apple’s citation of supplemental authority — and in it, Motorola claims that the reasoning of

A couple months ago, Microsoft asked Judge James L. Robart to confirm that the second phase of the Microsoft-Motorola RAND breach of contract trial — in which the actual breach and damages issues will be addressed — would be tried to Judge Robart himself, and not a jury (a motion that Motorola opposed).  Microsoft

Late Friday, Microsoft responded to the letter brief filed by Motorola last week in the parties’  RAND breach of contract case.  In its responsive letter brief [LINK], Microsoft disputes Motorola’s versions of the facts, and contends that Motorola has long known about the bases on which Microsoft would be seeking damages for breach of contract.  In particular, Microsoft claims that Motorola has known for over a year that Microsoft would be seeking to recover the costs of moving its EMEA distribution center from Germany to the Netherlands.  Microsoft suggests that Motorola’s efforts to limit Microsoft’s damages theories are nothing but a pretext for Motorola to actually dismiss Microsoft’s claims for damages for breach of contract.
Continue Reading RAND damages discovery dispute continues – Microsoft says Motorola’s brief is a pretext to dismiss damages claim

The district court in the Microsoft-Motorola RAND breach of contract case has already decided some unique issues of first impression, and will take on some more in the next phase of the case.  And if the parties don’t settle, an appeal is likely to follow.  This raises an interesting question, one that doesn’t necessarily have a clear answer — which appellate court would have jurisdiction over an appeal of Judge Robart’s RAND-related rulings?

The Western District of Washington sits within the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (which, as noted below, has already heard an interlocutory appeal in this case).  But as you may know, in order to preserve uniformity in patent law, the U.S. Court of Appeals for Federal Circuit in Washington, DC is the court designated by Congress as the appeals court with exclusive jurisdiction for nearly all patent cases.  The Microsoft-Motorola case (at least the part which has garnered the most attention) involves a breach of contract issue relating to patents, standard-setting, and patent licensing issues.  So, which is it — the 9th Circuit or the Fed Circuit?

Brace yourselves – this will take a couple thousand words.

Continue Reading Which appeals court has appellate jurisdiction over the Microsoft-Motorola RAND case?

In the aftermath of last week’s Microsoft-Motorola RAND-setting opinion, the case will now to proceed toward an August trial date.  At this trial — if it gets that far — either Judge Robart or a jury (this issue is still up in the air) will determine (1) whether Motorola breach its RAND obligations to the IEEE and ITU; (2) if a breach has occurred, whether Microsoft is entitled to damages as a result; and (3) the amount of any damages owed.  As we’ve noted before, Microsoft will likely seek summary judgment prior to trial, given the difference between Motorola’s opening 2.25% offer and the final RAND royalty rate set by Judge Robart.  But either way, the issues of breach of contract and potential damages remain in the case, and the parties are currently taking some limited discovery on these issues.

Yesterday, Motorola filed a letter motion with the court [LINK], asking it to limit the theories on which Microsoft may base its damages claims.  Motorola asserts that in recent weeks, Microsoft has significantly (and improperly) expanded its damages contentions in violation of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, prejudicing Motorola’s ability to prepare its own case.

Continue Reading Motorola asks Washington court to limit Microsoft’s theories of damages for potential RAND breach

By now many of you have at least skimmed through Judge James L. Robart’s 207-page order setting RAND royalty terms for an 802.11- and H.264-essential patent license agreement between Motorola and Microsoft.  You may have noticed that there’s no table of contents (despite the opinion’s considerable length) — and who has the time to sift