Apple and Samsung may be getting all the headlines these days, but there’s another patent war brewing in Germany. Microsoft has been going after Google through Motorola in Germany over what they feel is an infringement of their parent. The court seems to agree with Microsoft on this one, and Google now faces a sales ban.
According to FOSS Patents, the offending patent covers “a method and system for receiving user input data into a computer system having a graphical windowing environment.” Sounds like a patent that Microsoft would own, and they’re more than happy to share. They’ve already signed licensing agreements with other Android manufacturers. In fact, Motorola is the only hold out.
Microsoft have won the battle, but they are far from winning the war. Motorola is now owned by Google and they’re going to fight this ruling. FOSS Patents says that Google will probably file for a stay of the injunction within the next few days. They will also appeal the decision to a higher court.
For now, Microsoft has a few options at their disposal. For 75 million euros, Microsoft can have an sales ban implemented across Germany on all Motorola devices. This would make it impossible for Motorola to pump any more hardware into the German market. For another 20 million, they could also force a recall.
Microsoft isn’t in the news as much as Apple, but they are pretty aggressive in regards to patents. The only difference is that Microsoft more often than not choose to settle with hardware manufacturers and enjoys a steady income of licensing fees. In a statement to All Things D, Microsoft’s Deputy General Counsel said that they “hope Motorola will join other Android device makers by taking a license to Microsoft’s patented inventions.”
At this point, it seems that Motorola should just throw in the towel. They’re most likely not going to win an appeal. Licensing fees are probably much cheaper than the legal fees they’re accruing at the moment.