Motorola’s Droids banned in Germany thanks to Microsoft

Motorola’s Android-based devices have been banned from sale in Germany after a Mannheim Court ruling from Judge Andreas Voss found in Microsoft’s favor, reports FOSS Patents. Any Motorola devices using FAT technology for internal storage, which includes the Droid Razr and the Motorola Atrix amongst others, are to be removed from stores and other sales channels in Germany immediately. Motorola will also be expected to compensate Microsoft for any sales to date.

The ruling relates to Microsoft’s FAT or File Allocation Table patent. The technology Microsoft patented allows people to easily label and find media files when using the FAT storage system. Motorola Mobility may have to switch to a different file system but in the short term it’s likely an appeal will be lodged.

Microsoft has been gradually securing licensing agreements with the majority of Android device manufacturers but Motorola Mobility has so far refused to sign up. Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility was at least partly intended to protect the platform and its partners from legal problems like this. Companies like Samsung, HTC, and LG have all signed licensing agreements and Microsoft will obviously see this decision as further vindication of its intellectual property infringement claims on the Android platform.

In fact David Howard corporate vice president and deputy general counsel for Microsoft gave this statement to Engadget:

“Today’s decision, which follows similar rulings in the U.S. and Germany, is further proof that Motorola Mobility is broadly infringing Microsoft’s intellectual property. We will continue to enforce injunctions against Motorola Mobility products in those countries and hope they will join other Android device makers by taking a license to Microsoft’s patented inventions.”

Motorola has not ye t commented.

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