According to a report from Reuters, a judge in Mannheim ruled against Microsoft today in an ongoing patent dispute with Motorola Mobility by ordering the company to remove its Xbox 360 and Windows 7 products from German retailers. In response, Microsoft claimed that Motorola is unable to enforce the court’s decision due to a prior ruling granting Microsoft a preliminary injunction in a U.S. court:
“Motorola is prohibited from acting on today’s decision, and our business in Germany will continue as usual while we appeal this decision and pursue the fundamental issue of Motorola’s broken promise.”
Today’s ruling means Judge Holger Kircher has decided Microsoft broke contracts by using video-compression software covered in Motorola patents in its Xbox and Windows products. As noted by Reuters, the ITC last week ruled that Microsoft infringed on different Motorola patents covering both video compression and wireless technologies. European Union regulators have apparently started several investigations on how much Motorola charges competitors to license its patents because of the court’s decision and previous complaints from Apple, Microsoft, and others.
The current patent cases between the companies stem back to Microsoft’s lawsuits against Motorola related to Android patents and its cross-licensing program.
The report claimed Microsoft has already prepared for today’s decision by moving “its regional software distribution centre to the Netherlands from Germany in anticipation.” It appears the decision will not have any immediate impact on availability of Windows 7 and Xbox 360 in the country, but it could have long-term significance in ongoing litigation between the two companies.