Motorola may have won an injunction in Germany prohibiting Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT ) from selling its Xbox there, but a U.S. judge wasn't buying Motorola's argument and overruled the German court's ban. Federal Judge James L. Robart ruled on Friday for the United States District Court at Seattle that Motorola "has not shown it has suffered an irreparable injury or that remedies available at law are inadequate to compensate for its injury."
This is the second loss Motorola has sustained in a U.S. court as it tries to enforce the German ban on sales of the Xbox and other Microsoft products, including Windows 7. Last September, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Microsoft's favor, citing an even earlier court decision to put the sales ban on hold because of a concurrent suit of Microsoft's against Motorola.
This whole legal mess has been over Motorola's H.264 video streaming patent and Wi-Fi-related patents. The latter issue was dropped after supposedly less litigiously prone Google (Nasdaq: GOOG ) bought Motorola.
In the end, as Judge Robart pointed out, "injunctive relief" was not the only solution. His ruling that "this is not a simple patent infringement action" hinged on Motorola's obligation "to grant RAND licenses" (patent licensing under reasonable and non-discriminatory terms) "to all implementers (including Microsoft) of the H.264 standard."
Since Microsoft still paid licensing fees to Motorola, "as a matter of logic, the impending license agreement will adequately remedy Motorola as a matter of law," the judge wrote.
As to the German ban, Judge Robart ruled that "a judicially determined RAND license encompassing all of Motorola's H.264 essential patents would necessarily dispose of Motorola's request for an injunction in Germany based on Motorola-owned, H.24 standard essential patents."
Unless the circumstances change, according to the judge, the matter of injunctive relief is closed.
So meine Damen und Herren, what good is sitting alone in your room when you can still, with the Xbox, play?
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