Microsoft is claiming a significant victory in its latest patent skirmish with Motorola, after a US judge ruled the mobile handset maker should not enforce a potential sales ban.
The ruling would prevent Motorola enforcing a sales ban it is seeking in German courts over an alleged abuse of its patents relating to video standards, claimed Microsoft.
The German courts are not expected to make their decision known until next week.
“Motorola promised to make its patents available to Microsoft and other companies on fair and reasonable terms,” said David Howard, deputy general counsel, Microsoft.
“Today's ruling means Motorola can't prevent Microsoft from selling products until the court decides whether Motorola has lived up to its promise."
Currently, the German courts are examining whether Microsoft has infringed on patents rights Motorola holds relating to the H.264 video standard, which is used to display video on mobile devices and laptops.
Microsoft has argued that Motorola has abused an industry standard patent by seeking unreasonable terms to license the technology.
Nevertheless, the software maker is clearly worried about losing the case.
Last week, it confirmed that it was moving its European logistics operation from Germany to the Netherlands, because the risk that the German courts would side with Motorola was too high.
German patents courts have proved themselves willing to ban the sale of technology they deem to have breached patent rights.
Motorola said in a statement that the US court's decision would force Microsoft to pay a licence fee for technology it uses.
"Our focus from the outset has been to receive fair value for our intellectual property based on Microsoft's use of [Motorola Mobility's] patented technology," it said.
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