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Motorola Devices Banned in Germany for Infringing Microsoft FAT Patent

Motorola Droid RAZR Daylight

Motorola has been slapped with an injunction against a number of Android handsets that infringe a Microsoft File Allocation Table (FAT) patent by the Mannheim Regional Court in Germany. Microsoft will need to stump up a €10 million (approx. $12.3 million) bond to have the ban enforced.

The guilty products include the Atrix, Razr, and Razr Maxx, which all use Microsoft’s FAT file system for internal storage.

Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, David Howard, said that today’s ruling is proof that Motorola is “broadly infringing” Microsoft’s intellectual property:

“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. We will continue to enforce injunctions against Motorola Mobility products in those countries and hope they will join other Android device makers by taking a license to Microsoft’s patented inventions.”

Microsoft will need to pay a €10 million bond to have Motorola’s devices removed from retail in Germany, but Motorola — now owned by Google — will be forced to pay Microsoft a yet-to-be-determined amount in damages in turn. In order to put these devices back into retail, Motorola has two options: purchase a license from Microsoft or stop using the technology.

Howard added:

“We already have an injunction against Motorola products in Germany as a result of a ruling on May 24, and today’s ruling serves to strengthen this injunction. In the long term, if Motorola wishes to sell products on the German market, it must either take a license or stop using the technology covered by our patents including the ones at issue in this week’s decisions.”

FOSS Patents’ Florian Mueller reports that the patent in question is EP0618540, entitled “common name space for long and short file names.” This case is unrelated to another legal battle between Microsoft and Motorola over FRAND licensing for Motorola’s H.264 patents.

[via The Verge]


Killian Bell

Killian Bell is a 20-something technology journalist based in a tiny town in England. He has an obsession with that little company in Cupertino...

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