May 2, 2012
Judge Bans Microsoft Windows 7 And Xbox 360 Sales In Germany
German court judge Holger Kircher has ruled against Microsoft claiming the software giant had breached an agreement with Motorola in a patent dispute that applies certain video-compression software in products including Windows 7 and the Xbox 360 video game console, Reuters reports.
The ruling compels Microsoft to remove its Xbox game console as well as its Windows 7 operating system software from the German market. A US judge last week found a similar ruling saying Microsoft infringed Motorola Mobility´s patents.
The patents in question date back to 1992 and 1994 respectively and relate to the H.264 video compression standard which is used by 80 percent of all digital videos, writes Zack Whittaker for ZDNet. These patents are industry-essential and must be licensed on a ´fair and reasonable´ basis because they can be crucial to making other products.
Motorola demanded $4 billion in annual royalties but correctly surmised that Microsoft wouldn´t pay, and Microsoft certainly didn´t.
The European Commission is now investigating Motorola´s behavior to determine if it falls short of antitrust laws in how it handles the licensing of patents. It stepped in to attempt to resolve the patent disputes, but found Motorola has made it difficult for other companies to use its patents on ℠fair and reasonable´ terms.
This ruling comes only a few weeks since Microsoft announced it was moving its European distribution center to the Netherlands from Germany in a bid to avoid such legal tussles in the country, which has become a hotbed of patent disputes.
In Germany, the appeals court also has the power to suspend any move by Motorola to push for an enforced injunction if early analysis of the appeal suggests it will be successful, reports Chris Davies of SlashGear..
A Motorola spokesperson said it was open to resolving the ongoing matter. “Fair compensation is all that we have been seeking for our intellectual property.”