Today, a judge at the German Mannheim Regional Court ruled in favor of Motorola in a patent dispute with Microsoft over the H.264 video encoding standard.
The ruling covers a series of four lawsuits that Motorola filed against Microsoft, and grants the phone maker an injunction against the marketing of Windows 7, Internet Explorer, Windows Media Player, and the Xbox 360 in Germany.
For the time being, however, Motorola cannot enforce the injunction, due to a ruling issued by a US court in April, which does not enable the company to ban sales of Microsoft’s products in Germany.
The injunction was granted based on two patents: EP0538667 on an "adaptive motion compensation using a plurality of motion compensators" (filed in 1992); and EP0615384 on an "adaptive compression of digital video data" (filed in 1994).
These patents are essential to the H.264 video codec standard, Motorola claims. Around 80 percent of all digital videos are encoded using it. Motorola
is forced to license the patents on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms to all interested parties.
However, the company demanded from Microsoft royalties that would sum up to around $4 billion annually, which the software giant considers too much.
The fight is not over yet, although Motorola won said injunction. In fact, with Microsoft most probably set to appeal the decision, the handset vendor has to delay enforcing the ban of the aforementioned products in the event that the ruling is deemed improperly-granted.
In fact, Motorola was already prevented from enforcing the ban of Windows 7, Internet Explorer, Windows Media Player, and the Xbox 360, and only a final court decision on the matter would turn the table in its favor.
Microsoft has been signing patent licensing deals with an increasing number of Android makers, yet Motorola is the only such vendor to be involved in an active dispute with the Redmond-based giant over patent agreements, a recent post on FOSSpatents
Microsoft is confident that it will eventually win the battle, especially following the final initial determination that International Trade Commission issued last week in the patent infringement case Motorola brought against Microsoft in 2010.
“Today’s recommendation by the Administrative Law Judge is the first step in the process leading to the Commission’s final ruling,” a Microsoft spokesperson told Softpedia at the time.
“We remain confident the Commission will ultimately rule in Microsoft’s favor in this case and that Motorola will be held to its promise to make its standard essential patents available on fair and reasonable terms.”