Ina Fried

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German Court Issues Ban on Motorola Products Using Microsoft’s Patented File Storage Format

A German court on Friday ruled that Android phones from Motorola infringe on a Microsoft patent over file formats.

The court issued an injunction on Motorola phones that use the File Allocation Table (FAT) format for file storage. Among those phones are the Atrix, the Razr and the Razr Maxx.

It’s the latest in a series of rulings around the globe related to whether Android infringes on patents from Apple, Microsoft and others. Microsoft has already won other cases against Motorola in Germany, including an injunction against products infringing on a patent related to text messaging. At the same time, Motorola has also scored victories in its counter-actions against Microsoft.

Unlike Apple, Microsoft is widely licensing its patents to Android phone makers, though Motorola (now part of Google) has thus far not elected to take a license to Microsoft’s patents. Some in Redmond have been holding out hope that the recent court cases, combined with the change in ownership, will prompt Motorola to take a license.

Microsoft, naturally, praised the decision.

“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,” Microsoft deputy general counsel David Howard said in a statement. “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.”

Motorola, for its part, said it will consider an appeal.

“We are in [the] process of reviewing the ruling, and will explore all of our options, including appeal,” a Motorola representative told AllThingsD. “We don’t anticipate an impact on our operations at this time.”

The battle in Germany comes as Samsung and Apple prepare for a trial next week in San Jose, Calif., in their mega-patent infringement case against one another.


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— Om Malik on Bloomberg TV, talking about Yahoo, the September issue of Vogue Magazine, and our overdependence on Google