Germany Could Destroy Motorola Handsets After Microsoft Victory
July 30, 2012 11:11 AM
comment(s) - last by
Court finds Android phonemaker in violation of Microsoft file system patent, orders handset destruction
There's been another casualty in Germany, the most ban-friendly battleground of the mobile patent war: Motorola Mobility's flagship Android smartphones.
I. Motorola Handsets Slated for Destruction
In a ruling by the Mannheim Regional Court, Motorola Mobility was found to infringe on Microsoft Corp.'s (
) "FAT patent" --
, a patent that covers a "multiple file name referencing system".
The decision came after a judge in the same court awarded Motorola with
a ban on Microsoft's Windows and Xbox 360
in Germany after he found that Microsoft had violated two of Motorola's patents on the h.264 video standard. The same German court has
Apple, Inc.'s (
) iCloud service for a separate infringement against Motorola, and has banned Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd.'s (
Galaxy Tab 7.7
for an alleged design infringement against the 9.7-inch iPad.
Banning Windows or an entire smartphone lineup may seem bizarre by American standards, but its par for the course in Germany. The nation has slightly lower criteria for banning products in cases of probable infringement. The country also carries out infringement and patent invalidity queries along separate tracks, making it harder to avoid a ban by invalidating a bad patent. Combined, these subtle difference sum to a "ban first ask question later" policy that is unusual even by European Union standards.
The Motorola Atrix 4G is among the Android handsets slated for destruction under a punitive German court ruling. [Image Source: Philip Kamrass/ Times Union]
The latest ruling, which pertains to Microsoft's ubiquitous File Allocation Table (FAT) file system, is among the more severe as Motorola has been ordered to recall all its smartphones with the technology and surrender all its stock. The handsets will be destroyed as per the court order.
Court spokesman Joachim Bock
Motorola will also have to pay Microsoft damages for all the handsets it has sold. Microsoft will have to pay a bond, he added, to enforce the preliminary ruling. He commented, "If Microsoft wants to execute the decision now, they will have to pay a security deposit which is between 10 and 30 million euro."
(€10M = $12.25M USD; €30M = $36.75M USD;)
II. Microsoft: A Questionable Ally; a Dangerous Enemy
Microsoft cheered the ruling, commenting:
Today's decision, which follows similar rulings in the U.S. and Germany, is further proof that Motorola Mobility is broadly infringing Microsoft's intellectual property.
Among its handsets that to be destroyed are its flagship models -- the Motorola Atrix, the Droid Razr, and the
Droid Razr Maxx
. The company in May
became a subunit
of Google, Inc. (
) and continues to lose money despite
Google's hopes for a turnaround
Motorola, however, is likely to appeal this damaging ruling. A representative for the company released the following statement to
We are in [the] process of reviewing the ruling, and will explore all of our options, including appeal. We don’t anticipate an impact on our operations at this time.
In the U.S., a final ruling the Motorola Mobile v. Microsoft battle
has been delayed
. One Judge in a preliminary examination
recommended banning Microsoft's Xbox 360
from sale in the U.S. A separate U.S. International Trade Commission three judge panel has suggested banning the import of all Motorola Mobility smartphones on the ground of a different patent --
U.S. Patent No. 6,370,566
-- a patent which covers scheduling meetings on a mobile device.
Microsoft has declined to protects its licensees from its partner Apple. [Image Source: BGR]
urged Android smartphone makers
to license its large portfolio of mobile patents.
complied, paying between $10 and $15 USD per device. However, Microsoft has thus far declined to protect its licensees against Apple, another large mobile patent holder who itself is party to a cross-licensing pact with Microsoft.
In other words, Microsoft makes a pretty poor ally, but it makes a dangerous enemy presenting Android phonemakers with a difficult decision. Motorola decided to gamble and refuse to license, and now it's preparing to pay the ultimate price in Germany.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
could bite them in the ass
7/30/2012 4:17:26 PM
And what about when a judge declares that iPhones and/or Windows Phones be destroyed?
Considering the WASTE/ pollution issues involved, they should simply be band and sold else-ware.
RE: could bite them in the ass
7/31/2012 9:29:03 AM
Destroyed... this is the wierd part. Courts usually don't like to get involved in enforcement, this is why they usually like making a declaration and letting the police enforce any act in contravention (as Contempt of Court and equivalents)
Why not just order Google/Motorola that having any components related to the "infringement" - storage, and IO and firmware chips - is bad and the device is banned from sale. Is there any proof the sale-bans of other devices are not being complied with?
This, and so many other decisions coming out of German IP courts recently, stink real bad. I hope they don't export this silliness throughout Europe as a precondition of giving all those broke countries their bad loans...
"This week I got an iPhone. This weekend I got four chargers so I can keep it charged everywhere I go and a land line so I can actually make phone calls." -- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
Samsung Emails Bolster Apple's "Copying" Claims, But Show Innovation Too
July 27, 2012, 4:55 PM
Google Breaks Down Why it Bought Motorola -- And Downplays Patents
July 25, 2012, 2:39 PM
ITC Delays Final Decision in Motorola Mobility, Microsoft Patent Case
July 2, 2012, 11:40 AM
ITC Judge Recommends U.S. Xbox 360 Ban
May 25, 2012, 11:06 AM
Google Completes Acquisition of Motorola Mobility, Layoffs Likely
May 22, 2012, 11:47 AM
FDA Proposes Regulations, Health Warnings for Electronic Cigarettes
April 24, 2014, 9:00 AM
Apple Rakes in $10.2B Profit for Fiscal Q2; Announces 7-for-1 Stock Split
April 23, 2014, 4:39 PM
The Price is Right: OnePlus One Packs Hot Spec for Only $299
April 23, 2014, 3:37 PM
Google Unveils Solar Panel Lease Plan for Homeowners
April 23, 2014, 9:56 AM
Quick Note: Apple Invites Companies to “Copy” Its Environmental Record
April 22, 2014, 7:58 AM
OnePlus One Images Leak Ahead of April 23 Launch
April 21, 2014, 5:19 PM
Most Popular Articles
A Bug's Life: Female Cave Bugs Have Penises, Penetrate Males for Three Days
April 17, 2014, 7:20 PM
HTC Hires Former Samsung Marketing Chief Who Developed "Galaxy" Brand
April 18, 2014, 6:00 PM
NASA Finds "Habitable Zone" Planet Sized Similar to Earth
April 18, 2014, 3:13 PM
Mounties Arrest 19-Year-Old Who Delayed Canada's Tax Filing w/ Heartbleed
April 17, 2014, 3:24 PM
Thanks to Government Crackdown, Chinese "Porn Cop" Has Watched 600K Adult Videos
April 21, 2014, 12:00 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Space Terrorism is a Looming Threat For the United States
Apr 23, 2014, 7:47 PM
Facebook Aims to Provide Internet to "Every Person in the World" with Drones, Satellites
Apr 1, 2014, 10:20 AM
Retail Mobile Sites Experience Outages in Light of Simplexity's Bankruptcy
Mar 14, 2014, 8:48 AM
Tesla vs. BMW: Who Has the Safer EV?
Feb 1, 2014, 2:56 PM
Justice Leaks Details of Next HTC One Two Flagship Phone
Dec 5, 2013, 4:04 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information