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Microsoft expects Motorola to withdraw Xbox complaint after FTC settlement

Microsoft told the US International Trade Commission it expects Motorola Mobility to withdraw some requests for patent-related injunctions

Microsoft told the U.S. International Trade Commission that it expects Motorola Mobility to withdraw claims relating to two patents it says are essential to the H.264 standard in its complaint against the Xbox, in view of a settlement last week between the Federal Trade Commission and Google.

The Redmond, Washington, software company said in a filing on Monday that it wanted to inform the administrative law judge (ALJ) of the new development immediately so that "resources of both the ITC and the parties may be conserved and not wasted on issues that Motorola has agreed to withdraw as a result of its settlement with the FTC."

Microsoft has cited in the filing various documents including a statement last week from the FTC that Google's settlement with the commission requires it to withdraw its claims for injunctive relief on standard-essential patents covered under FRAND (fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory) terms, and to offer a FRAND license to any company that wants to license Google's standard-essential patents in the future.

Google acquired Motorola Mobility last year for US$12.5 billion, partly to shore up its patent portfolio in an industry that has become very litigious.

Microsoft has cited in its filing the statement and other documents and comments by the FTC while announcing the settlement. It said that as a result of the settlement it expects Motorola to immediately dismiss from the investigation its claims relating to two patents which it asserts to be essential to implementation of the H.264 video encoding standard.

When the claims on the patents related to H.264 are dismissed, only one more patent will be the subject of investigation, Microsoft said in the filing.

Google could not be immediately reached for comment. There is some ambiguity as to whether the terms of the settlement apply to injunctions that Motorola has already sought before the ITC and in courts over its standard-essential patents, according to analysts.

Asked at a news conference whether Google would have to withdraw current cases before the ITC, FTC chairman Jon Leibowitz said that his understanding was that "they're going to stop trying to seek the injunction or the exclusion order at the ITC."

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

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