The face-off between software giant Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and internet search colossus Google Inc(NASDAQ:GOOG) hotted up on Friday with Microsoft winning its third patent lawsuit win against Google’s Motorola Mobility unit after a Mannheim court ruled that Motorola had infringed on the software firm’s patent for File Allocation Table or FAT and ordered it to pay half the costs.
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The ruling by Judge Voss of the Mannheim Regional Court follows close on the heels of Microsoft winning an injunction against Motorola products earlier in May, related to short messaging service, in a German court. The result of this ruling will be that Google will either have to license its patents or stop using the FAT technology altogether. Motorola will have to recall the offending products from sale in Germany and will also be liable to pay damages.
Microsoft had sued Motorola for infringement of patent on products including the Razr, Razr Maxx and Atrix smartphones. Incidentally Motorola is the only major Android device maker that has not signed a licensing agreement with Microsoft. Samsung, HTC and even some of the smaller mobile companies have done so, ensuring that they cannot be sued by the software giant.
"We will continue to enforce injunctions against Motorola Mobility products in [the U.S. and Germany] and hope they will join other Android device makers by taking a license to Microsoft's patented inventions," said David Howard, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel for Microsoft, in a statement.
From the point of view of users, this injunction if enforced will make it less convenient for them to download photos to their computers and mobile devices.
The current injunction is just one outcome in a string of legal disputes between Microsoft and Motorola, being fought in German and U.S. courts.