Microsoft drives German patent tank into Google's front room
Joins Apple panzer in smashing up House of Android
Microsoft has won a patent case against Google's Motorola Mobililty that is really about the Android operating system.
The judge in Munich's Regional Court said that the OS infringed on part of a Microsoft patent on inputs and has banned the offending products pending a $61.4 million from Redmond, according to Munich magazine Abendzeitung.
The patent in question deals with input on touchscreen devices like pop-up keyboards and how they pass data to underlying apps and Microsoft claims that the IP is infringed by Android products, but HTC and Samsung already license it while Moto is holding out.
Microsoft was understandably chuffed with the ruling.
"We’re pleased this decision, which builds on previous rulings in Germany that have already found Motorola is broadly infringing Microsoft’s intellectual property," deputy general counsel David Howard said in an emailed statement.
"We will continue to enforce injunctions against Motorola products in Germany and hope Motorola will join other Android device makers by taking a license to Microsoft’s patented inventions."
The ruling comes just a week after the same court ruled that Motorola is infringing on Apple's "over scroll bounce" patent and banned the offending tablets and smartphones there as well, providing the fruity firm stumps up 25m.
In both cases, the Google-owned mobe-maker will have to decide whether to work around the offending patents or try to appeal against the decisions.
Motorola would only say that it was "waiting for the written decision and evaluating our options, including an appeal". ®
Welcome to software patents - we tried to warn them...
Yes. I'm assuming that it is EP 1040406 (mentioned in the linked German report) and I cannot see how the patent goes beyond the insanely obvious idea of drawing a keyboard on a touch screen and letting it post keystrokes to applications through the standard OS pathway.
The patent seems to make much of the fact that the virtual keyboard plugs into the same interfaces as a real one, but for me that would be a basic functional requirement (as well as being MIND-NUMBINGLY obvious).
Axis of weasle
Microsoft has obviously decided they are in serious danger of losing their "world's most hated company" crown to Apple, and are taking the appropriate remedial measures in court.
That said, Android *is* becoming their most successful product thanks to their strong-arming of Android OEMs into paying into their cushy little patent-based protection racket, so perhaps it's just defending revenue streams.