A judge at the German Mannheim Regional Court ruled against Microsoft today in a set of four ongoing lawsuits between Motorola and the software giant. Motorola won an injunction against the distribution of Windows 7, Internet Explorer, Windows Media Player, and the Xbox 360 in Germany. Although the injunction has been granted, it's temporarily unenforceable as a US court issued a ruling in April preventing Motorola from enforcing a German sales ban for the near future.
The case centers around patents that cover H.264 video encoding, a standard for video on the web. Microsoft filed a formal competition complaint against Motorola and Google with the European Commission back in February, claiming that the pair will "kill video on the web" by failing to license the patents under fair and reasonable terms. Motorola is now under investigation by the European Union for its use of 2G, 3G, Wi-Fi, and H.264 patents, and EU regulators will be watching its case with Microsoft closely. The software maker will likely appeal this decision immediately, to avoid a costly ban on its biggest consumer products in Germany. We have reached out to Microsoft and Motorola for comment on the ruling and we'll update you accordingly.
Update: Microsoft says it is "confident that Motorola will eventually be held to its promise to make its standard essential patents available on fair and reasonable terms." The company also says business in Germany will "continue as usual" while it appeals the decision.
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