updated 04:23 pm EDT, Thu September 20, 2012
Sales ban in Germany for infringing another patent
Motorola has suffered at the hands of Microsoft in Germany again. According to AllThingsD, a court has ruled that smartphones and tablets made by Motorola infringe on one of Microsot's patents, and allowing for another possible ban on sales in Germany. If Microsoft wishes the ban to be implemented, it will have to pay a bond of $61.4 million.
The patent this time is for "a method and system for receiving user input data into a computer system having a graphical windowing environment." Microsoft believes that it has been developed into the Android OS, and could in theory lead to other manufacturers facing a court battle. MS has already convinced HTC and Samsung to be license holders for the patent.
"We're pleased this decision builds on previous rulings in Germany, that have already found Motorola is broadly infringing Microsoft's intellectual property," said Microsoft Deputy General Counsel Dave Howard, referring to a pair of previous rulings in July where more Motorola products were banned for infringing a patent on file allocation tables, again a fundamental part of Android. "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."
Google has a number of options available to it. It can pay for a license from Microsoft for Motorola products, it could rework Android so it escapes this patent -- and by extension prevent others using the operating system from being targeted -- or it can appeal and hope for a more favorable result from the court. A statement from Motorola Mobility claims that it is waiting for a written decision, and is evaluating its options.