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Microsoft loses patent infringement case against Motorola

Fourth time lucky for Motorola
Fri Oct 05 2012, 16:36
A Motorola logo

AMERICAN PHONE MAKER Motorola Mobility has won a patent infringement case brought by Microsoft in Germany.

Microsoft has been attacking Google through its Motorola Mobility subsidiary for some time, but has come up short in Mannheim. Motorola was found not to have infringed Microsoft's patent that covers the ability for applications to work on multiple handsets.

Motorola had lost three cases against Microsoft over alleged patent infringement, with Microsoft winning the right to order bans on the sale of some smartphones in Germany. However Microsoft was unable to add a fourth straight victory and was quick to tell journalists that the loss will not affect the sales injunctions it won in the three previous court cases.

David Howard, associate general counsel at Microsoft said, "This decision does not impact multiple injunctions Microsoft has already been awarded and has enforced against Motorola products in Germany." What Howard didn't say is how Microsoft's failure to assert its latest patent will harm future litigation efforts by the firm.

Google piad $12.5bn to buy Motorola Mobility and its 16,000 patents, and while Google will take any victory it can against Microsoft, there is little evidence to suggest that Microsoft lost this case for any reason other than the absurdity of software patents in general rather than the strength of Motorola's patent portfolio. µ


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