Microsoft prevailed at the first of two patent trials versus Google's Motorola Mobility unit on Thursday, when a federal judge in Seattle ruled largely in its favor.
U.S. District Judge James Robart in Seattle said Microsoft owed only a fraction of the royalties Motorola had claimed for use of its technology in Microsoft's Xbox console.
Motorola had sought as much as $4 billion a year for use of its essential wireless and video patents, while Microsoft argued its rival deserved about $1 million a year. Robart decided the appropriate payment was about $1.8 million.
The ruling is a hit for Google, which bought Motorola for $12.5 billion, partly for its intellectual property stockpile. The latest ruling makes Motorola's patents a weaker bargaining chip for Google to negotiate licensing deals with others.
The case in U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington is Microsoft Corp. vs. Motorola Inc., 10-cv-1823.