Motorola has fended off a patent lawsuit from Microsoft, with the Google-owned smartphone company convincing a German court that its devices do not infringe IP around bridging a device's radio and apps. The patent, "Method and radio interface layer comprising a set of application programming interfaces (APIs)," was infringed by Motorola's Android devices in how they access contacts entries and other elements, Microsoft argued, but the lower regional court of Mannheim decided it disagreed.
Although its been Apple's voracious attitude toward patent litigation that has made most headlines in recent months, Microsoft has been equally eager to pick through rivals and make some cash from their implementation of technology. Unlike Apple, however, which has sought primarily to block its rivals from store shelves, Microsoft's goal has apparently been forcing patent licensing agreements, which it has already signed with the majority of high-profile Android device OEMs.
In fact, Motorola Mobility has been the main hold-out from a patent deal with Microsoft, hence the company's aggressive challenges in the courts. According to David Howard, associate general counsel at Microsoft, today's victory shouldn't give Motorola - and Google - too much hope, as it does not change the state of in-store play. "This decision does not impact multiple injunctions Microsoft has already been awarded and has enforced against Motorola products in Germany" he explained.
Those previous rulings have seen several Motorola products pulled from German stores in the past few months, most recently for a system which allows a keyboard to communicate with an app. "It remains that Motorola is broadly infringing Microsoft's intellectual property," Howard argues, "and we hope it will join the vast majority of Android device makers by licensing Microsoft's patents."
Motorola Mobility and Google are yet to comment on the ruling.