Xbox 360 hit with sales injunction in Germany

Motorola has won a legal ruling in Germany against Microsoft, which would mean pulling MS products from shelves if a US ruling hadn't already issued a preemptive order not to act on the ban.

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The legal battle between Microsoft and Motorola continues to heat up, and Motorola has scored one symbolic victory that could serve as a bargaining chip in company negotiations. A court in Mannheim, Germany ruled today that various Microsoft products infringe on Motorola patents due to their video compression technology -- including the Xbox 360.

Time reports that this would ordinarily mean those products would be pulled from shelves, but a ruling in a US court in April preemptively ordered Motorola not to enforce the German ban if it were granted. That order is based on a pending ruling in a related patent dispute in Seattle, scheduled to take place on May 7.

Plus, Reuters reports that Microsoft had already moved its European distribution center to the Netherlands to be on the safe side. All in all, the actual customers shouldn't feel an impact while the two companies sort out their dispute.

The April ruling was also in Motorola's favor. The legal volleying has been bouncing between the companies; Motorola's own patent claim (H.264) was in retaliation for Microsoft hitting the company with an infringement case against its Android phones. Back-to-back victories for Motorola will probably give the company more weight to throw around for a settlement, but for now don't worry too much about not finding an Xbox 360 in your favorite German shop.

"This is one step in a long process, and we are confident that Motorola will eventually be held to its promise to make its standard essential patents available on fair and reasonable terms for the benefit of consumers who enjoy video on the web," said Microsoft in a statement. "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."

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    May 2, 2012 8:30 AM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, Xbox 360 hit with sales injunction in Germany.

    Motorola has won a legal ruling in Germany against Microsoft, which would mean pulling MS products from shelves if a US ruling hadn't already issued a preemptive order not to act on the ban.

    • reply
      May 2, 2012 8:31 AM

      It's spelled Mannheim.

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      May 2, 2012 9:36 AM

      I really wish the patent system was reformed these back and forth lawsuits are beyond ridiculous. Companies are using their patents very broadly to kill rival products and then you have others that sit on the patents until a another company independently creates something similar that is wildly popular.

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        May 2, 2012 10:47 AM

        True, the patent wars are getting more dumb. In this case it's more that MS didn't want to pay out fees to a process they didn't own. This case is similar to some the issues that hardware manufactures and software developers had with the use of MP3 in the late 1990s.
        MS just need to pay the licensing fees and finds.

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        May 2, 2012 8:56 PM

        This is honestly a response to Microsoft's Android trolling. If people would stop trolling patents in the mobile phone world, patent litgation would drop to 1/4th overnight.

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          May 3, 2012 3:33 AM

          Patents should only be a temporary otherwise competition and innovation are both stiffled and the consumers suffer.