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Motorola can't enforce a ban on Xbox 360 software in Germany

Panel of judges unanimously upheld the lower court order on Friday
Mon Oct 01 2012, 15:41
Image of an Xbox 360 games console

AMERICAN SMARTPHONE MAKER Motorola Mobility won't be able to enforce a court order seeking a ban on Microsoft's Xbox 360 gaming software in Germany, a US appeals court has ruled.

Motorola filed the lawsuit in Mannheim, Germany in 2010 after Microsoft had sued the firm in the US earlier that year. However, US District Judge James Robart in Seattle granted Microsoft's request to put the German order on hold earlier this year. The delay was issued until Robart could determine whether Motorola could appropriately seek a sales ban based on its standards essential patents.

A three judge panel of the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco unanimously upheld the lower court order on Friday.

The lawsuit alleged that Microsoft infringed two Motorola patents relating to the H.264 compression standard, asking that the Redmond based software house be banned from distribution of its Xbox 360 console and Windows 7 operating system (OS) both online and in stores in Germany.

Since Microsoft had already brought a lawsuit against Motorola for breach of contract in the US, US courts have the power to put the German injunction on hold, the Court of Appleals said.

"At bottom, this case is a private dispute under Washington state contract law between two US corporations," the court ruled, according to Reuters.

Microsoft's deputy general counsel, David Howard, said, "We're pleased that Judge Robart's decision has been affirmed by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, preventing Motorola from enforcing an injunction in Germany until its use of standard essential patents can be closely examined.

"It continues to be our hope that Google and Motorola live up to their promises to standards organizations."

We are awaiting comment from Motorola regarding the ruling. µ


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