Microsoft wins patent injunction against Google in German court

by: Kristofer WoukSeptember 20, 2012

Google subsidiary Motorola Mobility was dealt a serious blow today when Microsoft won its third injunction against the company in German court. Two rulings were won; one against Motorola Mobility Inc, and one against its German subsidiary.

Judge Dr. Peter Guntz of the Munich I Regional Court announced the ruling earlier today, explaining that Android infringes on Microsoft’s patent for a “soft input panel system and method.” Essentially, this boils down to applications being able to receive input from multiple sources, such as keyboard or voice input, without the app having to manually figuring out where the input is coming from.

Many apps use this functionality, and unlike other Android device manufacturers, Motorola is not paying a license fee to Microsoft for using it. In addition to the German injunction, Microsoft is also pursuing this issue in the U.S. in the Western District of Washington.

This is far from the first time that Microsoft has brought legal action against Motorola. Earlier this year, Microsoft enforced an import ban in the U.S. against Motorola over a patent related to meeting scheduling, and has won two prior injunctions against the company in Germany. Both injunctions related to Microsoft patents: one for multi-part SMS messages, and another relating to a file system patent.

Microsoft’s David Howard had this to say: “We will continue to enforce injunctions against Motorola products in Germany and hope Motorola will join other Android device makers by taking a license to Microsoft’s patented inventions.” Microsoft can post a bond of a total of 75 million euros to enforce the two rulings, and can  enforce a recall for another 10 million.

The injunction can be appealed, so it is very likely that Google will take action to appeal the ruling.

With all the recent patent litigation, do you think it’s starting to get out of hand?

  • Chris Harpner

    “With all the recent patent litigation, do you think it’s starting to get out of hand?”

    Are you KIDDING? “Starting”?!?!?!? My God! This has been out of hand for quite some time! Time to rebel against these moronic patents that amount to, “I did the obvious thing that everyone’s been doing, but I’ll patent it FIRST, therefore, when YOU do the blatantly obvious thing that everybody’s been doing, YOU have to pay ME!”

    I’m going to patent right angled corners and sue all construction jobs! Then I’m going to patent the text file format and sue the bejesus out of MS and Apple.

    This is INSANE!

    • It is ridiculous how they are going after Android as a unified front. What I see is a couple companies who have, rather suddenly, lost market share to other companies that were partners before and have now surpassed them. Microsoft and Apple are, honestly, Jealous of Android OEMs. Half the patents being lobbied against Android are so basic and have prior art. The other half were purchased. I think the act of purchasing patents after the fact is wrong. I don’t care which side uses this tactic, it is wrong. You shouldn’t be able to buy a patent and then sue a company that was using the technology without issue because they suddenly won’t pay you money. In fact, I don’t think you should be able to patent 90% of the shit they sue over.

  • if all these company like suing each with stupid, patents, system they might as well inject all that money into economy, to just start job growth..

  • MoogleStiltzkin

    i don’t particularly like the patent wars, but i wonder, does Microsoft have a valid patent claim unlike Apple’s case ?

    I don’t know the full details so i’m not quite sure yet.