Motorola Mobility wins injunction against Microsoft in Germany

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Motorola Mobility wins injunction against Microsoft in Germany

Warwick Ashford

Motorola Mobility has been granted an injunction in Germany against the distribution of Microsoft's Xbox 360 games console, Windows 7 system software, Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player.

The injunction follows a ruling that Microsoft had infringed two Motorola patents necessary to offer H.264 video coding and playback, according to the BBC.

Microsoft could be forced to recall and destroy its products if Motorola enforces the injunction, but a US court has banned Motorola from enforcing the action until it considers the matter next week.

Motorola, which is in the process of being acquired by Google, is locked in several cases against Microsoft over about 50 pieces of intellectual property.

Microsoft claims Motorola's demands would all add up to annual licence fees in the region of $4bn, but Motorola disputes the figure.

Motorola said: "We are pleased that the Mannheim Court found that Microsoft products infringe Motorola Mobility's intellectual property. As a path forward, we remain open to resolving this matter. Fair compensation is all that we have been seeking for our intellectual property."

Microsoft said it planned to appeal against the German ruling. It emphasised that its business in Germany would continue during the appeals process.

The software maker is pushing for Motorola to make its standard essential patents available on fair and reasonable terms.

A US court put the restriction on Motorola enforcing the German injunction after Microsoft claimed Motorola was abusing its industry "Frand" commitments to licence innovations deemed critical to widely-used technologies, under "fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory" terms.

The US hearing is scheduled for 7 May, but the judge may issue his ruling only at a later date. In the meantime, the German court could go to the European Commission (EC), which is investigating whether Motorola's patent activities amount to an abuse of a dominant market position.

The EC opened its investigations after Apple and Microsoft said Motorola had failed to meet its Frand obligations, which means the patent owners cannot dictate who is allowed to use its patent and the licensing fee cannot be excessive.

Motorola has pledged to work closely with the EC to resolve the matter, saying it is confident that a thorough investigation will demonstrate that it has honoured its obligations.


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