Judge: Motorola can't ban Xbox 360 or Windows 7 sales anywhere

A possible ban on the sales of Xbox 360 game consoles and Windows 7 PCs in Germany, thanks to an ongoing patent dispute between Motorola Mobility and Microsoft, has now been nullified. A federal judge in the case ruled late on Friday in Microsoft's favor, which should allow people who wanted to buy both products to continue to do so.

The Seattle Times reports that US District Judge James Robart granted Microsoft's motion to refuse Motorola's request of injunctive relief. Basically, this means that Motorola can't ask for a ban of these two Microsoft products anywhere in the world. Earlier this year, a German court ruled that Motorola could in fact ask for such a sales ban.

This is just the latest chapter in the long and winding court drama that began in 2010, when Microsoft first filed a lawsuit against Motorola, long before Motorola was acquired by Google. Microsoft claimed that Motorola was not offering its essential patents for 802.11 wireless and H.264 video standards under "fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory terms", otherwise known as FRAND.

In November, Judge Robart heard arguments from both sides in a Seattle courtroom in this legal battle. That trial concluded later in the month and Judge Robert is expected to make a final decision on this issue sometime in the spring of 2013.

Source: Seattle Times
Gavel image via Shutterstock

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32 Comments

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Sounds to me like Motorola knew the legal system in Germany was likely to help their terrible cause. Last I checked, both companies are US based. Should have been dealt with here first anyway.

deepfunkysoul said,
ROFL google just got curb stomped lol

unlikely - google probably has more money than the US government

dvb2000 said,

unlikely - google probably has more money than the US government

Being the US government runs a trillion dollar + deficit every year for the past 4 years, a few people, including Google, Microsoft, Apple, etc. have more money than the government does. But I don't see what you are getting at, do you mean that Google can buy off the government to get what they want?

nohone said,

Being the US government runs a trillion dollar + deficit every year for the past 4 years, a few people, including Google, Microsoft, Apple, etc. have more money than the government does. But I don't see what you are getting at, do you mean that Google can buy off the government to get what they want?

There actually is a document somewhere that tells how much each Country is worth in terms of what it holds in land, minerals, coastline, renewables, airspace, fresh water etc. No business of any type can afford to buy the United States or most other countries, no matter how much anyone would like to think they can.

dvb2000 said,

unlikely - google probably has more money than the US government

I have more money than the US government. It's not hard to have more than negative 15 trillion dollars.

Enron said,

I have more money than the US government. It's not hard to have more than negative 15 trillion dollars.

Confusing operating capital with worth.

Even if you throw in the Bush Wars, Bush Tax Cuts, and Bush Medicare Drug Program crap that created the MAJORITY of the deficit that makes the cash flow currently negative, it doesn't anything to do with the wealth or value of the country.

dvb2000 said,
and what exactly does anything a US judge say, have to do with Germany or any other parts of the world?

What it means is it gave Motorola the ability to use it as a way to speed up the process in other parts of the world pretty much since they already had one it would be easy to ask for it in the us or other parts.

Manarift said,

What it means is it gave Motorola the ability to use it as a way to speed up the process in other parts of the world pretty much since they already had one it would be easy to ask for it in the us or other parts.

You mean, gave Microsoft this ability, Motorola actually lost its ability to ask for the ban.

Manarift said,

What it means is it gave Motorola the ability to use it as a way to speed up the process in other parts of the world pretty much since they already had one it would be easy to ask for it in the us or other parts.

in other words, if this judge actually said that, he was talking out his arse.

for example we've seen the recent pro apple, Lucy Koh, cases in the US reversed in more unbiased countries?

dvb2000 said,
and what exactly does anything a US judge say, have to do with Germany or any other parts of the world?

Nothing at all. As usual, it's just the US thinking it controls the world. We'll just carry on ignoring them and follow our own laws, as usual.

FloatingFatMan said,

Nothing at all. As usual, it's just the US thinking it controls the world. We'll just carry on ignoring them and follow our own laws, as usual.

Your disdain for America motivates me. I'm gonna go look up the actual ruling now and, you know, inform myself before forming my opinion. You realize, if the truth of the ruling does, in fact, make sense, your snarky opinion is just going to make you look like an arse.

BBIAB

dvb2000 said,
and what exactly does anything a US judge say, have to do with Germany or any other parts of the world?

Awww, upset because Google doesn't get to dictate their will through their abuse of patents, specifically FRAND patents? Sucks to be you.

Joshie said,

Your disdain for America motivates me. I'm gonna go look up the actual ruling now and, you know, inform myself before forming my opinion. You realize, if the truth of the ruling does, in fact, make sense, your snarky opinion is just going to make you look like an arse.

BBIAB

How can a US court ruling have ANY affect on laws in OTHER coutries? If it were an INTERNATIONAL court ruling, then sure, but not a US federal court, now matter WHAT the judge might THINK he can control.

Joshie said,

BBIAB

Holy crap that was an interesting read. And it does, in fact, make perfect sense. It's a shame this article (and the Seattle Times article before it) cop out on the explanation by taking a "basically" shortcut.

To my dear FloatingFatMan, your ignorance of the matter at hand far exceeds the ignorance you see in the Americans you so proudly look down your nose at. Congrats. Maybe next time you want to assert your superiority complex, you'll confirm it, first.

What happened here is actually very simple--there's no need for this "basically" stuff. A single paragraph could get this across. Motorola made a binding, contractual commitment worldwide to the IEEE and ITU bodies to provide a RAND license for the technologies in dispute. Because these are global bodies, this contract encompasses patent filings in all nations. The foundation of Motorola's suit depends on Microsoft using unlicensed patents, so logically, once a license is in place, all grounds--worldwide--for a suit by Motorola against Microsoft regarding these technologies disappear.

This ruling is that Motorola must adhere to its aforementioned agreement to provide a full RAND license to Microsoft, and establishes Microsoft as a legitimate beneficiary of said license. Microsoft has already committed to accepting the license arrangements determined by the court. Since the rates *will* be determined, and the parties are *already* committed to accepting them, it stands that a license arrangement *will* inevitably form between the two companies, and there will no longer be anything--related to these technologies--for Motorola to sue Microsoft about. Anywhere.

Okay, two paragraphs. Still. It was a fun read. I learned a lot.

The more you know. Try it sometime.

--
Source: http://www.scribd.com/doc/1150...20121130-607-Order-re-MS-SJ

FloatingFatMan said,

How can a US court ruling have ANY affect on laws in OTHER coutries? If it were an INTERNATIONAL court ruling, then sure, but not a US federal court, now matter WHAT the judge might THINK he can control.


My previous post addresses your concern in full, and my quoted source can handle any remaining questions. It's actually a very well-written, readable document with lots of context built into it.

For what it's worth, your mistake is thinking this has anything to do with "laws in other countries". This is about contracts, licenses, and international standards bodies. Laws are a triviality in this issue.

Joshie said,

Holy crap that was an interesting read. And it does, in fact, make perfect sense. It's a shame this article (and the Seattle Times article before it) cop out on the explanation by taking a "basically" shortcut.

To my dear FloatingFatMan, your ignorance of the matter at hand far exceeds the ignorance you see in the Americans you so proudly look down your nose at. Congrats. Maybe next time you want to assert your superiority complex, you'll confirm it, first.

What happened here is actually very simple--there's no need for this "basically" stuff. A single paragraph could get this across. Motorola made a binding, contractual commitment worldwide to the IEEE and ITU bodies to provide a RAND license for the technologies in dispute. Because these are global bodies, this contract encompasses patent filings in all nations. The foundation of Motorola's suit depends on Microsoft using unlicensed patents, so logically, once a license is in place, all grounds--worldwide--for a suit by Motorola against Microsoft regarding these technologies disappear.

This ruling is that Motorola must adhere to its aforementioned agreement to provide a full RAND license to Microsoft, and establishes Microsoft as a legitimate beneficiary of said license. Microsoft has already committed to accepting the license arrangements determined by the court. Since the rates *will* be determined, and the parties are *already* committed to accepting them, it stands that a license arrangement *will* inevitably form between the two companies, and there will no longer be anything--related to these technologies--for Motorola to sue Microsoft about. Anywhere.

Okay, two paragraphs. Still. It was a fun read. I learned a lot.

The more you know. Try it sometime.

--
Source: http://www.scribd.com/doc/1150...20121130-607-Order-re-MS-SJ

German courts came to different conclusion, regarding the infringement, using the same agreements. So a US judge, once again, has no power over court decisions in another country, or anyone's ability to carry out those decisions. The US does not make the rules anywhere but our borders. The sooner people in the courts and in the rest of our Government learn this, the better off the whole world will be. You can defend this all you want but it's like the laughable "superinjunctions" the UK has that try to tell people in other countries what they can and cannot say/print.

Tweaky Nippleton said,

German courts came to different conclusion, regarding the infringement, using the same agreements. So a US judge, once again, has no power over court decisions in another country, or anyone's ability to carry out those decisions. The US does not make the rules anywhere but our borders. The sooner people in the courts and in the rest of our Government learn this, the better off the whole world will be. You can defend this all you want but it's like the laughable "superinjunctions" the UK has that try to tell people in other countries what they can and cannot say/print.

Ya it doesn't work quite like that either.

If Germany had no alliance with the US, then Motorola could bribe the Government officials to never sell anything Microsoft in their country, and no ruling or contractual obligations would ever have to be honored.

However, Germany and the USA do have International Laws, treaties, and a whole mix of crap when you add in the EU.

If the 'premise' of not allowing the sale of a product was based on a contractual ruling, and that contract was later agreed upon by the parties to be ruled/decided that would replace the original ruling, it wouldn't matter what country the 'agreement' ruling happened.

Additionally, in cases that cross international borders have a set of rules that are agreed to by the countries (which is why the laws, agreements, treaties, etc are important). This sets jurisdiction and it wouldn't matter if the court was held on an island in the pacific in Dr Evil's lair. Since the two countries have agreement about the jurisdictions and the ruling implications, making the location of the court irrelevant.

So it is possible Germany could break with the EU and the USA and heck even start another freaking war just to honor Google, but lets assume, they don't care about Google or Motorola enough to do that. k?

Joshie said,
Motorola made a binding, contractual commitment worldwide to the IEEE and ITU bodies to provide a RAND license for the technologies in dispute. Because these are global bodies, this contract encompasses patent filings in all nations. The foundation of Motorola's suit depends on Microsoft using unlicensed patents, so logically, once a license is in place, all grounds--worldwide--for a suit by Motorola against Microsoft regarding these technologies disappear.

It's largely irrelevant what the agreement says about "worldwide" licensing in a US court. The judge can only rule on matters in the US, therefore if he has said his judgement is worldwide then his ruling is invalid, and google would no doubt be appealing it in a heartbeat.

IEEE and ITU are standards bodies, and have no legal standing for enforcing THIRD PARTY licensing of patents to other companies.

dvb2000 said,

It's largely irrelevant what the agreement says about "worldwide" licensing in a US court. The judge can only rule on matters in the US, therefore if he has said his judgement is worldwide then his ruling is invalid, and google would no doubt be appealing it in a heartbeat.

IEEE and ITU are standards bodies, and have no legal standing for enforcing THIRD PARTY licensing of patents to other companies.


Seriously. Just read the bloody ruling. By continuing to argue your perspective, all you're doing is showing you still haven't read it.

I realize you have NOTHING but disdain for American judges, and the thought of reading what one has to say must make you faint, but try being responsible for your own intelligence for five damn minutes and read the actual reasoning.

You're willing to get emotionally invested in a blog post reporting on the ruling. You might as well back up all the energy you're wasting by suffering to expose yourself to the ORIGINAL SOURCE.

Apologies in advance for putting you through the trauma of having an American call your integrity into question, but there's no other way to read into the motives of a person who's actively avoiding the task of educating himself.

Joshie said,

Holy crap that was an interesting read. And it does, in fact, make perfect sense. It's a shame this article (and the Seattle Times article before it) cop out on the explanation by taking a "basically" shortcut.
To my dear FloatingFatMan, your ignorance of the matter at hand far exceeds the ignorance you see in the Americans you so proudly look down your nose at. Congrats. Maybe next time you want to assert your superiority complex, you'll confirm it, first.

What happened here is actually very simple--there's no need for this "basically" stuff. A single paragraph could get this across. Motorola made a binding, contractual commitment worldwide to the IEEE and ITU bodies to provide a RAND license for the technologies in dispute. Because these are global bodies, this contract encompasses patent filings in all nations. The foundation of Motorola's suit depends on Microsoft using unlicensed patents, so logically, once a license is in place, all grounds--worldwide--for a suit by Motorola against Microsoft regarding these technologies disappear.

This ruling is that Motorola must adhere to its aforementioned agreement to provide a full RAND license to Microsoft, and establishes Microsoft as a legitimate beneficiary of said license. Microsoft has already committed to accepting the license arrangements determined by the court. Since the rates *will* be determined, and the parties are *already* committed to accepting them, it stands that a license arrangement *will* inevitably form between the two companies, and there will no longer be anything--related to these technologies--for Motorola to sue Microsoft about. Anywhere.

Okay, two paragraphs. Still. It was a fun read. I learned a lot.

The more you know. Try it sometime.

Although I have read the source and will agree that a ban ain't possible. I will have to say that your the one coming off as an individual with a superiority complex, with your passive aggressive, more intelligent than thou, Ad hominem responses.

You cant really blame people for getting there pants in a bunch over an american judge stating something with such a global reach, Because although there is a legal footing in this particular case, America does have a track record with attempting to be the world police. This inevitably leads to a boy who cried wolf scenario.

That said, this article could have done a better job of explaining why it has such a global effect, and state that it is mainly because of an international standards agreement, not because the judge is trying to have global influence.

Ad Man Gamer said,

Although I have read the source and will agree that a ban ain't possible. I will have to say that your the one coming off as an individual with a superiority complex, with your passive aggressive, more intelligent than thou, Ad hominem responses.

You cant really blame people for getting there pants in a bunch over an american judge stating something with such a global reach, Because although there is a legal footing in this particular case, America does have a track record with attempting to be the world police. This inevitably leads to a boy who cried wolf scenario.

That said, this article could have done a better job of explaining why it has such a global effect, and state that it is mainly because of an international standards agreement, not because the judge is trying to have global influence.


In all fairness, people who ditch the effort of informing themselves in favor of spinning their own perspective based on blog articles and their personal conclusions based on unrelated cases in the past will never be on equal footing, intellectually, with people who don't have a cognitive heart attack at thought of taking a few minutes to go to the original source.

If dvb2000 is proud to be the kind of person who obstinately insists on sticking to his presumptions, even when faced with a summary of the truth and a link to a full version of the truth, then yes, I'm pretty sure it's safe to say he *does* lack intellectual integrity, and *does* deserve needling for it, because there's clearly no way to convince a person wrapped up in his own stereotypical anti-American Eurorage to listen.

Major Plonquer said,
This is what Google spent $12.5 billion for?

Yep. In addition to making the most mediocre phones they also have the most useless patent portfolio.

Major Plonquer said,
This is what Google spent $12.5 billion for? Can they get a refund?


Yep. In addition to making the most mediocre phones they also have the most useless patent portfolio.

That trial concluded later in the month and Judge Robert is expected to make a final decision on this issue sometime in the spring of 2013.