So you’ve heard the news that Microsoft was sued in Germany by Motorola Mobility over alleged patent infringement and lost which results in a ban on XBOX and Windows sales.
This is just one of several cases involving about 50 intellectual properties that the smartphone maker has claimed that Microsoft should have licensed.
Microsoft has said that if it met all of Motorola’s demands it would face an annual bill of $4bn (£2.5bn). Motorola disputes the figure.
A statement from Motorola said: “We are pleased that the Mannheim Court found that Microsoft products infringe Motorola Mobility’s intellectual property. As a path forward, we remain open to resolving this matter. Fair compensation is all that we have been seeking for our intellectual property.”
Before our German gamers start to panic, it’s not over yet since a US court stepped in and banned Motorola from enforcing the patent.
Wait, what? Why is the US getting involved in German law?
Microsoft is doing a lot of maneuvering and strategizing, and their lawyers are working overtime.
However, Motorola cannot enforce the ruling until a Seattle-based judge lifts a restraining order.
The restriction was put in place after Microsoft claimed that Motorola was abusing its Frand-commitments – a promise to licence innovations deemed critical to widely-used technologies under “fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory” terms.
Ok fine, but what is this all about anyway.
Motorola Mobility claims that Microsft is using their H.264 video codec in their products without approval… and they are… it’s in Internet Explorer 9 and Silverlight because they implemented the HTML5 standard which includes H.264 for video playback.
The tin foil hat comes on when we find out that Motorola Mobility is being bought by Google who just last year officially removed support for H.264 from Chrome because of the potential patent issues.
Ultimately, there’s nothing to worry about because Microsoft has a lot of money, influence, and lobbyists… but it’s still interesting to see how this plays out.