Judge Invalidates 13 Motorola Patent Claims Against Microsoft

A judge has invalidated 13 patent claims from Google-owned Motorola against software giant Microsoft.

Judge James L. Robart of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington in Seattle issued the decision. The claims referred to three patents (U.S. Patent No. 7,310,374, U.S. Patent No. 7,310,375 and U.S. Patent No. 7,310,376), which all pertain to encoding and decoding digital video content.

Microsoft told the court that the "means for decoding" and the "means for using" elements related to the 13 patents should be ruled as invalid due to a U.S. patent law specification.

"Finally, as stated, decoding and encoding are entirely different functions. Thus, even were a person of ordinary skill in the art able to devise an algorithm for decoding the function from the disclosed encoding description, that alone does not rescue the disputed means limitations from indefiniteness. Were that the case, any means-plus-function limitation could be saved from indefiniteness by an expert's testimony that he or she could have written computer code to perform the recited function based on unrelated disclosures in the specification," said Robart.

"The specification needs to provide a decoding algorithm from which to base the understanding of one skilled in the art, and the court can find no such algorithm within the specification. Instead, the "means for decoding" limitations claim all corresponding structure under the sun by expansively defining the function in the specification as anything that decodes digital data. This definition renders the "means for decoding" limitation invalid for indefiniteness."

Motorola, which has demanded over $100 million from Microsoft over its patent lawsuits, has previously been refused a ban on the Xbox 360 and Windows in the United States and Germany.

 

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  • Soda-88
    After reading this, it makes me wonder how on earth was Apple granted the 'slide to unlock' patent...
    16
  • mariusmotea
    Same judge must see Apple patents.
    12
  • thecolorblue
    Now imagine Motorola/Microsoft/Apple ect... were targeting a perceived threat (competitor) that was a small developer of open source software.

    Big corporation sends a letter warning... small developer reads threat letter, looks at $800 bank account balance, calculates the cost to defend against the frivolous (bogus) patent infringement claims... and promptly closes up shop and applies for work at McDonalds.

    great world we're building here... great great world.
    12
  • Other Comments
  • CaedenV
    Is this Google trying to get out of some of their Microsoft pattent leases? I read a long time ago that SM is making some $20 per Android device sold due to patent leases... not sure if it is true, but it would go a long way to explain why it took them so long to get WP7/8 up and going. Why work at making a product when you can get money for free from your competition?
    7
  • Soda-88
    After reading this, it makes me wonder how on earth was Apple granted the 'slide to unlock' patent...
    16
  • skyline100
    caedenvIs this Google trying to get out of some of their Microsoft pattent leases? I read a long time ago that SM is making some $20 per Android device sold due to patent leases... not sure if it is true, but it would go a long way to explain why it took them so long to get WP7/8 up and going. Why work at making a product when you can get money for free from your competition?


    For long term profit.
    3