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Motorola Scores Surprise Win against Microsoft in Germany’s Patent Court
Microsoft lost against Google’s Motorola Mobility in a patent war over multilingual programs on Thursday at Germany’s Federal Patent Court. The Foss Patents Blog reported today that the German court has declared Microsoft’s EP0669021 patent on “multilingual computer programs” invalid within German territory. While Microsoft can appeal the decision, and it has little impact in the overall patents war between Microsoft and Motorola, nevertheless, a court win is a court win and for now Motorola seems to be enjoying the upper hand in European courts.
Last year, the Munich I Regional Court had held that Motorola Mobility did not infringe the patent at issue and Microsoft’s grievances were not valid as far as Android-based devices were concerned. Microsoft appealed and the Munich Higher Regional Court delayed its decision pending the nullity action at the German Federal Patent Court over the same patent.
Now with the nullity decision being made by the Patent Court, the appeal at the Munich Higher Regional Court will be stayed pending final resolution of the nullity action.
Thursday’s outcome was seen as surprising by experts as the German Federal Patent Court had held all claims in the matter patentable in a preliminary ruling.
However, the trend of the German Federal Patent Court, at least in the matter of smartphone patents, has been to uniformly invalidate patents in the form issued by the European Patents Office. In fact, only one such smartphone patent has survived in the court, albeit in a heavily amended form in the Microsoft-Motorola patents war. The German Federal Patent Court has the track record of throwing out all patents it considered so far in the Apple-Samsung war, and experts expect Motorola’s push notification patent to be the next candidate to be dismissed.