Judge James Robart of the U.S. District Court of Western Washington today extended a temporary restraining order that he issued last month that prevents Motorola from enforcing any injunction from any other court against Microsoft until he reaches a decision in the Seattle case. Judge Robart extended the temporary restraining order because he needed more time to sort out the case, but that didn't stop him from delivering some harsh criticisms to both sides of the legal battle over patents and licensing. Judge Robart also said that it was likely that he would deny Microsoft's motion that Motorola breached its licensing contract, and Motorola's motion that Microsoft gave up its right to licenses under reasonable terms.
Still, the ruling keeps Motorola from enforcing a German court ruling that said that Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Windows could not be sold in the country.
"The court is well aware it is being used as a pawn in a global, industry-wide business negotiation," said Judge Robart, adding that both sides have been "driven by an attempt to secure commercial advantage. To an outsider looking at it, it has been arbitrary, it has been arrogant and frankly it has been based on hubris."
Both sides seemed oblivious to the judge's rebuke.
"We look forward to seeing Judge Robart's decision on today's hearing and we are pleased the temporary restraining order remains in place pending the further ruling from the court," Microsoft said in a statement.
"We remain confident that Motorola Mobility has honored its FRAND commitments, and have a long history of successful and amicable cross-licensing relationships with more than 50 companies," said Motorola. "Despite this, Microsoft has refused to negotiate and has instead initiated and continued to pursue an aggressive litigation strategy aimed at attacking Motorola Mobility and the Android platform. Regardless of their transparent tactics, we are focused on resolving this matter in a way that fairly compensates Motorola Mobility for the use of our valuable IP and protects the interests of our stakeholders."
We will have more on this story as it develops.