Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has been indirectly battling Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) through Motorola Mobility in a faraway courtroom in Germany. Microsoft has been alleging patent infringement, and it had some success in securing three different sales bans in Germany on several Motorola Mobility handsets. However, the winning streak came to an end in the most recent decision. However, for Windows 8 and related smartphones to have one less competitor in the market when they launch later this month, which should benefit the company and investors like billionaire fund manager David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital.
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) already won three sales injunctions against about a dozen Motorola devices that run the Android operating system by Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) in Germany. While Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) lost this latest patent-infringement case, it doesn’t affect anything because it involved devices that were already banned from sales in Germany due to other patent infringements. This latest case involved a patent secured in 2002 that involved written code that worked with various radio antennas on different mobile devices.
“This decision does not impact multiple injunctions Microsoft has already been awarded and has enforced against Motorola products in Germany,” said Microsoft counsel David Howard. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) had already achieved the three other injunctions due to infringement of patents involving SMS messages, user input and use of the file allocation table (FAT) file system. “It remains that Motorola is broadly infringing Microsoft’s intellectual property, and we hope it will join the vast majority of Android device makers by licensing Microsoft’s patents,” Howard said.
While Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) owns just 3 percent of smartphone market share in the June quarter of 2012, it has made money on Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android success by securing licensing agreements with handset makers like Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and HTC. But Motorola Mobility went to trial rather than pay the licensing, and now it is being shut out of a prominent Western market. However, Motorola Mobility has its own victories, having bans placed on Xbox 360 consoles, Windows 7 operating system, Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player by Microsoft Corporation (MSFT), though another hearing is scheduled before enforcement can be pursued.