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Motorola Android devices banned in Germany for infringing Microsoft's FAT patent

Motorola Android devices banned in Germany for infringing Microsoft's FAT patent


The Mannheim Regional court has found in favor of Microsoft in its FAT patent case against Motorola, granting a ban on the company's Android devices in Germany.

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Atrix HD
Atrix HD

The Mannheim Regional Court has ruled on Microsoft’s FAT patent case against Motorola, granting Microsoft's request for a ban on relevant devices, according to Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents. Following the decision, Microsoft's Corporate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, David Howard issued the following statement:

"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. 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."

In order to enforce the injunction, Microsoft will need to pay a €10 million bond, reports Mueller. Also, as part of the decision, Motorola will have to remove infringing products from retail, and Microsoft will be entitled to an as-yet-undertimined amount in damages. Microsoft tells us that the injunction affects all Android devices that use FAT on internal storage, including the Atrix, Razr, and Razr Maxx, further explaining that the decision bolsters the injunction it was awarded on May 24th:

"We already have an injunction against Motorola products in Germany as a result of a ruling on May 24, and today’s ruling serves to strengthen this injunction. In the long term, if Motorola wishes to sell products on the German market, it must either take a license or stop using the technology covered by our patents including the ones at issue in this week’s decisions."

The patent in question, EP0618540, is part of Microsoft’s File Allocation Table (FAT), a legacy filesystem that's still widely used, primarily for backward compatibility. It covers long name / short name file indexing, whereby each file has one short and at least one long filename associated with it, giving two-way access to the stored information. The decision is unrelated to the ongoing legal wrangling between the two companies over FRAND licensing for Motorola's H.264 patents.

Matt Macari contributed to this report