updated 07:03 pm EDT, Sun May 13, 2012
Microsoft's 1995 push patent relevant
On April 20, Microsoft fired the most recent shot in its legal skirmish with Motorola in German court in regards to a series of patent enforcement suits preventing Microsoft (amongst others) from using push notifications. In response to the new MS filing, on Friday morning Mannheim Regional Court Judge Andreas Voss said that his court is not prepared to rule on Motorola's complaint versus Microsoft in regards to push notifications from the Hotmail service. A new trial is expected.
As a result of the ruling, for now, Microsoft Hotmail can continue to push emails to users in Germany, rather than the client having to periodically check the server for new emails. Judge Voss ruled that the facts as declared on April 20 lent credibility to a "prior use" defense, and likely a new trial. In addition, Microsoft claimed that an old agreement dating to 1995 involving ActiveSync prohibited Motorola from beginning the lawsuit in the first place. Further hearings have yet to be scheduled.
Motorola has also sued Apple with the same patent to enjoin the MobileMe/iCloud services. Motorola prevailed in that suit, and Apple still doesn't have push services available in Germany. This suit is not part of the H.264 video compression patent Motorola enforced against Microsoft in Germany at the start of this month. That ruling is currently unenforceable due to a restraining order reluctantly granted by Judge James Robart in Seattle district court last week.