Microsoft v. Motorola Patent War Takes Odd Turn

A United States District Court has ruled that Microsoft can continue to sell Windows and Xbox 360 products in Germany – even if a German court rules in favor of an injunction request filed by Motorola. The dust up (as reported by Ars Technica) is related to a patented technology essential to the H.264 video standard, which Microsoft uses in its software products. To say the ruling is unusual would be an understatement because a U.S. Court is basically interfering in a region it doesn't have any jurisdiction over.

Judge James Robart of the US District Court for the Western District of Washington granted Microsoft a temporary restraining order after agreeing with the company's argument that allowing the German Court's injunction to go forward might compel Microsoft to negotiate a license under German law. In turn, the US court would lose its opportunity to make its own ruling on similar licensing issues. Microsoft argued that the US court should be the one to rule on the issue because Microsoft filed its lawsuit against Motorola over the terms of a licensing deal before Motorola filed its lawsuit in Germany.

Motorola Mobility sued Microsoft over the use of technology related to the H.264 video standard. Microsoft countered that Motorola is trying to charge fees that are too high for patents licensed under FRAND (fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory terms). The German court is expected to rule April 17 on Motorola's motion to prevent the sale of Windows software and the Xbox 360. The U.S. Court ruling "bars Motorola from taking steps to carry out injunctive relief granted by the German court until the US court rules on an original patent case filed in Seattle,"

Source: Ars Technica

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