Microsoft could have Motorola mobile devices banned in Germany

Apple is not the only company that is looking to ban competitors’ products. Microsoft is exploring their options as they look to gain some traction in the patent wars. Following July’s successful ban of Motorola devices in Germany for violating a patent around a File Allocation Table (FAT) patent, Microsoft has once again managed to get Motorola products banned.

This new ban revolves around “a method and system for receiving user input data into a computer system having a graphical windowing environment.” Microsoft claim that the patent covers functionality built into Android and it’s looking increasingly likely that Google must alter Android to avoid further violations or pay Microsoft what it demands. Although to enforce the ban, Microsoft will have to pay $61.4 million.

Dave Howard, Deputy General Counsel has stated:

We’re pleased this decision builds on previous rulings in Germany that have already found Motorola is broadly infringing Microsoft’s intellectual property. 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.

The fact that Android device makers like HTC and Samsung have avoided Microsoft’s wrath is because they have already licensed the patents. Google is the one company that, so far, has held out.

Google’ Motorola Mobility have simple said:

We are waiting for the written decision and are evaluating our options, including an appeal.

And who says they really want to be friends?!

Source: AllThingsD | Image: Talk Android

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22 Comments

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This is the 4th major patent victory of Microsoft against Motorola and this sounds like the biggest. This patent is basically impossible for Motorola to design around without putting hardware keyboards on the phones. Picking a patent fight with Microsoft is suicide, Motorola is incredibly foolish.

Avatar Roku said,
Picking a patent fight with Microsoft is suicide, Motorola is incredibly foolish.

Moto mobility is now a wholly owned subsidary of Google.
There's enough money around both sides of this case that Germans will still have Motorola products on the shelves.

The thought of Google paying Microsoft to use Android without threat of further lawsuit is hilarious.

Ah, so funny that Google told Motorola (prior to acquisition) to tell Microsoft to pound sand.

It is like watching someone punch themselves in the face to win a fight.

(Following the legal arguments from Google and the 'help' they offer Motorola is silly enough to make a Business Law 101 student spit their coffee.)

The article reads as if Motorola's phones have already been banned when the reality is that MS has the option to request a ban. Hopefully Motorola will do the right thing and license the tech they've stolen rather than force MS to go down the ban route. They thought they could avoid paying the same license fees that all the other Android OEMs have chosen to pay and lost. Now it's time to pay up.

We're pleased this decision builds on previous rulings in Germany that have already found Motorola is broadly infringing Microsoft's intellectual property.

I wouldn't say "storing both long and short file names on FAT" qualifies as "broadly" infringing, but whatever.

FAT has already been invalidated. The problem with German courts is that validations and injunctions are done separately.

But that won't stop Microsoft bringing out a decade old patent to try and ban others' products. All their other patents are worthless. In fact, this is the exact same patent Microsoft goes to all Android and GNU/Linux OEM's with.

It will get formally invalidated eventually. And when that happens, Microsoft won't have a leg to stand on.

ichi said,

I wouldn't say "storing both long and short file names on FAT" qualifies as "broadly" infringing, but whatever.


considering MS gave them what, a year at least to come forth and make a deal with MS concerning this issue and they refuse to cooperate while infrindging on MS's IP...
Seeing this issue been dragged along for ages and Motorola refuses to settle anything. I think it falls under broadly

simplezz said,
FAT has already been invalidated. The problem with German courts is that validations and injunctions are done separately.

But that won't stop Microsoft bringing out a decade old patent to try and ban others' products. All their other patents are worthless. In fact, this is the exact same patent Microsoft goes to all Android and GNU/Linux OEM's with.

It will get formally invalidated eventually. And when that happens, Microsoft won't have a leg to stand on.


Haters be hating. MS worked on FAT/exFAT and offered Motorola several deals and offers to let Motorola license this. MS been fairly tolerate to Moto in this situation. They refuse to pay for the IP MS (helped) create. There are other solution for filesystems. Yet they choose to pick one that belongs to MS. MS has every right to hunt them down, especially since Moto refuses to settle in any way.

Shadowzz said,

considering MS gave them what, a year at least to come forth and make a deal with MS concerning this issue and they refuse to cooperate while infrindging on MS's IP...
Seeing this issue been dragged along for ages and Motorola refuses to settle anything. I think it falls under broadly

Well, my understanding of "broad infringement of IP" is that they would be infringing a reasonably big chunk of Microsoft's patent portfolio, not just one single ancient patent.

simplezz said,
FAT has already been invalidated. The problem with German courts is that validations and injunctions are done separately.

But that won't stop Microsoft bringing out a decade old patent to try and ban others' products. All their other patents are worthless. In fact, this is the exact same patent Microsoft goes to all Android and GNU/Linux OEM's with.

It will get formally invalidated eventually. And when that happens, Microsoft won't have a leg to stand on.


There are other patents involved too. HTC and Samsung have licensed them, Google could have done the same but they didn't.

And as for the FAT issue, there's a really really simple workaround. Use ext4 and voila problem solved. But Motorola / Google don't want to do that either.

-Razorfold said,

There are other patents involved too. HTC and Samsung have licensed them, Google could have done the same but they didn't.

And as for the FAT issue, there's a really really simple workaround. Use ext4 and voila problem solved. But Motorola / Google don't want to do that either.

Android doesn't use FAT for the main OS. In fact Gingerbread did use ext4. It uses FAT for the SD cards. If it didn't, then you couldn't mount to a Windows box or use that SD in a Windows box. There is probably some way to get around that, but that's how it is now.

farmeunit said,

Android doesn't use FAT for the main OS. In fact Gingerbread did use ext4. It uses FAT for the SD cards. If it didn't, then you couldn't mount to a Windows box or use that SD in a Windows box. There is probably some way to get around that, but that's how it is now.


That's what I meant. And if there are apps for opening HFS drives on Windows, pretty sure Google / Motorola / the FOSS community could make something similar for ext4.

Pretty pathetic to be honest.

How vague is "a method and system for receiving user input data into a computer system having a graphical windowing environment"

InsaneNutter said,
Pretty pathetic to be honest.

How vague is "a method and system for receiving user input data into a computer system having a graphical windowing environment"


About on par with slide to unlock or having your icons look a particular way and look how far that went.
But thats the dodgy patent system for you

"Although to enforce the ban, Microsoft will have to pay $61.4 million."

Pocket change for Microsoft. Look in the employee lounge in the couch.

joep1984 said,
"Although to enforce the ban, Microsoft will have to pay $61.4 million."

Pocket change for Microsoft. Look in the employee lounge in the couch.


Its indeed just peanuts for MS, What we consider a penny, thats 61m to them.

But what I dont really understand is, Motorola is infringing on MS's IP, breaking a law, not cooperating at all (MS gave them plenty, really plenty of chance to pay for something MS (co) developed) and yet to do anything about it, it costs MS a boatload of money to get it enforced? Something is wrong here >.>

Shadowzz said,

But what I dont really understand is, Motorola is infringing on MS's IP, breaking a law, not cooperating at all (MS gave them plenty, really plenty of chance to pay for something MS (co) developed) and yet to do anything about it, it costs MS a boatload of money to get it enforced? Something is wrong here >.>

I gather this would be sort of a preliminary injunction, so MS wouldn't be paying to enforce anything but rather to cover Motorola's damages in case they get banned and later found not actually infringing.

ichi said,

I gather this would be sort of a preliminary injunction, so MS wouldn't be paying to enforce anything but rather to cover Motorola's damages in case they get banned and later found not actually infringing.


Makes sense

Shadowzz said,

Its indeed just peanuts for MS, What we consider a penny, thats 61m to them.

But what I dont really understand is, Motorola is infringing on MS's IP, breaking a law, not cooperating at all (MS gave them plenty, really plenty of chance to pay for something MS (co) developed) and yet to do anything about it, it costs MS a boatload of money to get it enforced? Something is wrong here >.>

That's right and Apple can charge 3 billion for something they didn't actually "make"! The whole system is screwed.