Motorola scores rare win in Microsoft patent dispute

Motorola scores rare win in Microsoft patent dispute

Summary: In an ongoing dispute over patents, while Microsoft has been leading the wins in the running battle, Motorola Mobility won a rare victory against the software giant.


Motorola has scored a rare win over Microsoft in an ongoing litigation battle over patent infringement claims in a German court, denying Microsoft a further sales ban against Motorola Mobility's products.

The Mannheim Regional Court ruled that Google-owned Motorola Mobility did not infringe a Microsoft-owned patent. The technology in question describes a series of developer APIs that allow applications to work on multiple devices. But EU Patent No. EP1233343 was not infringed by the Android phone maker, the court said.

But the Redmond, WA.-based software giant said that today's loss does not impact a string of injunctions its against the rival phone maker, which have already been granted and enforced in the country, according to Reuters.

The judge in the case did not explain the reasons behind the ruling today, says FOSS Patents author Florian Mueller.

Microsoft and Motorola Mobility remain in the grip of courtroom battles as the companies fight it out over a range of smartphone patents. 

The software giant has already won three cases against Motorola Mobility in Germany, which forced the Google-owned unit to pull many of its devices from the store shelves or modify the Android software where software patents were infringed.

Microsoft's chief lawyers said in August that it wants "patent peace," and doesn't want to fight. In a blog post by Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith and deputy general counsel Horacio Gutierrez  said that the company "always has been, and remains open to, a settlement of our patent litigation with Motorola."

Google bought Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion last year. The deal finally went ahead after Chinese regulators gave the green light to the merger, which faced opposition by some rivals. 

Just yesterday, Google said it would extent the cuts it would make to its Motorola Mobility unit, and would swallow a charge of $340 million in total for the third-quarter. But some were quick to point out that already the $12.5 billion cost for the company has now risen to $13 billion.

"Google bought the Titanic. And they bought it when it was already underwater," said venture capitalist and former writer MG Siegler in a blog post.

Image source: Flickr.

Topics: Patents, Google, Microsoft, Smartphones

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  • What dignity is left?

    What dignity is left for Google /Motorola when it comes to patents? basically nothing much... They should just listen to MS advise of "patent peace," and move on...
    • Patent peace?

      LOL, Microsoft claiming they want "patent peace" is a bit like the aliens in Mars Attacks, who debark their spaceships and start vaprosizing everything that moves, even as they yell out "Have no fear, we come in peace!"
      • You have that backwards.

        MS has always been about patent peace - Instead of having companies sign licensing agreements to use their code, they could have taken the Apple or Samsung route and try to get the competing products banned.

        It's closer to something along the lines of "The Day the Earth Stood Still", with MS as Klaatu, and the courts as Gort.
        William Farrel
        • Microsoft hasnever been about peace

          Unless you consider taxing every other company a form of peace?As we learned from World War 2 appeasing a deranged mad man, will never lea to lasting peace. Microsoft is the deranged mad man in that scenario.
          Troll Hunter J
        • um..Will Farrel..

          Right... That's why for EVERY non-motorola Android device purchased, Microsoft gets $15. Why? Because the other manufacturers are afraid of MS's legal department, which rivals the size of many states, OK, it dwarfs them.
          "We want patent peace" = "Give us money for no reason or we'll sue.We have such a powerful legal team, it doesn't matter how wrong we are, we'll probably win. And if not, we'll keep your products tied up in a legal battle. At the very least, we'll make sure your litigation costs will cripple you."
          David Friedland
      • Can you prove that there are "Aliens"

        out there in Mars. Here you go, you have proof for Microsoft is ready for negotiations with its IP infringers.
        Ram U
        • Wow

          You can't possibly be a shill.
  • Oh I just love the irony.

    Not so long ago, Microsoft won a patent-dispute case against Motorola and when I went to the Android section, tens upon tens of people had much hate to say against Microsoft claiming they are a monopoly and are evil to make to many patents so that Google has to pay royalties to Microsoft. But if Microsoft wins, only a few people criticize Google, not nearly as much as people criticizing Microsoft. Microsoft is not the monopoly (in the mobile and online spectrum). Google and Apple are.
    Free From Apple
    • It's not irony. It's obvious

      that most people realize that Microsoft is losing the technological battle, and it's using its set of thousands of stupid patents (the source of the problem) to halt the real innovators. This happens when the legal department is more important for the company that the R&D one.