October 7, 2012
Motorola Wins Patent Verdict Over Microsoft In Germany
redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports — Your Universe Online
After several stinging defeats earlier this year, Motorola has finally won a patent case victory over rival Microsoft, as a German court has ruled the Google-owned telecommunications outfit did not infringe on a system that allowed applications to work on different devices.
The verdict, announced Friday in a Mannheim courtroom, said Motorola Mobility -- which was purchased by Mountain View, California-based Google for $12.5 billion in a deal that closed back in May -- did not infringe upon a Microsoft patent that describes a way for apps to communicate with a smartphone's radio communications hardware, according to BBC News reports.
"The German court's ruling ends a run of three previous patent victories scored by Microsoft over Google this year," the British news agency said of the verdict. "However, it has little practical effect since Microsoft has already secured bans against several Motorola products. These include sales restrictions preventing stores offering about a dozen devices including the Droid Razr and Razr Maxx handsets."
"The latest case involved software application programming interfaces (APIs) used to allow software developers to write a set of code guaranteed to work with different mobile devices' radio antennas," they added. "Potential uses include letting a mobile phone select a network operator; transfer a call; send and receive a text message; and access individual files stored on the SIM card."
The technique, which Microsoft claimed was based on a 2002 filing, helps developers by allowing them to avoid creating code for multiple devices, reducing the time and monetary investment required to create software, UK newspaper The Telegraph explained. The BBC added that the judge in the case did not explain why Microsoft's infringement claim was denied.
"This decision does not impact multiple injunctions Microsoft has already been awarded and has enforced against Motorola products in Germany," David Howard, associate general counsel at Microsoft, told reporters following the decision. "It remains that Motorola is broadly infringing Microsoft's intellectual property, and we hope it will join the vast majority of Android device makers by licensing Microsoft's patents."
A Google spokesperson told BBC News that the company was "pleased" with the outcome.