Motorola scores minor win against Microsoft in German patent war, Microsoft still has the upper hand

October 5, 2012
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Despite not being in the headlines as much as the Apple-Samsung legal brawl, the patent fight between Motorola and Microsoft has been very eventful lately. In fact, if we wouldn’t want to keep our objective perspective on all these legal accusations and trials, we might say that the Moto-Microsoft conflict has got a little out of hand.

Both companies have gone after each other with all guns firing ever since last summer, when settlement talks ended far from peacefully. And while, as in all wars, the stage wins seemed to go both ways at the beginning, the last couple of months have been far from kind for Motorola.

The first serious blow came when several Moto devices got banned from sale in the U.S. in mid-July, but the injuries started to become really severe for Google’s subsidiary a week after, when the company’s entire Android line-up got banned in Germany.

Ever since then, Motorola struggled to recover and tried to get the injunctions stayed, but instead of scoring a win, it got another, albeit less serious, blow in September. Another patent injunction was awarded to Microsoft in a German court, so one could have even started to suspect a plot going on against the Razr makers in “Fatherland”.

Meanwhile, Microsoft tried to reconcile with Motorola outside courts of law, but unlike most other major Android manufacturers, which have accepted to pay a fee to Bill Gates’ company, Moto once again refused a compromise.

And that might have just paid off, judging by the latest news that comes from Germany. It seems that the regional court of Mannheim ruled that Motorola Mobility did not infringe a Microsoft patent which “enables applications to work on different handsets.”

That is the exact phrasing used by Reuters in describing the patent, and, while it sounds a bit too vague to identify it at the moment, we’re almost certain it has nothing to do with the patents that got Motorola the earlier sales ban in Deutschland. Therefore, while this is an important win for Moto, especially for its legal team’s morale, it still doesn’t change the grand scheme of things.

“This decision does not impact multiple injunctions Microsoft has already been awarded and has enforced against Motorola products in Germany.” said David Howard, associate general counsel at Microsoft, confirming our speculations. Meanwhile, Moto officials couldn’t be contacted to address the matter, but we should wait for a celebratory dance translated into a press release soon enough.

Who’s happy for Motorola? How about sad for Microsoft? How about f’ing fed up with all this bull?

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