Microsoft have won an ruling in a Seattle court which will prevent Motorola Mobility from gaining an injunction against them in Germany. This could have caused patent problems for Microsoft, halting sales of the Xbox 360 console and some other software based products.
Microsoft had attempted to preempt potential distribution issues by moving their European center to the Netherlands from Germany ahead of the German court decision which was expected on April 17th. Motorola claimed that Microsoft were breaching a video patent technology they own.
The US District Court have given Microsoft a preliminary injunction as well as a restraining order against Motorola in Germany.
Microsoft deputy general counsel sent out an emailed statement to the press which read “Motorola promised to make its patents available to Microsoft and other companies on fair and reasonable terms. Today’s ruling means Motorola can’t prevent Microsoft from selling products until the court decides whether Motorola has lived up to its promise.”
Motorola also issued an email which read “”As a result of today’s hearing, Microsoft has committed to take a license under MMI’s (Motorola’s) patents essential to certain standards, in the event the court determines that Microsoft is entitled to a RAND (reasonable and non-discriminatory) -based license. Our focus from the outset has been to receive fair value for our intellectual property based on Microsoft’s use of MMI’s patented technology.”
The patent issues are centered around specific video compression software which is utilised in Windows 7 and the Xbox 360 console. Microsoft say that these patents are standard, essential parts of the software. They also say that Motorola are asking for too high a rate for royalties to use the code. Google are in the process of buying Motorola.
European regulators are looking into Motorola in regards to antitrust claims. There are accusations that they are over charging both Apple and Microsoft for the use of patents in their products.
Kitguru says: This battle is not yet over.