Google suffered what some are calling a "major legal defeat" in a German court today in a patent fight with Microsoft. The court ruled in favor of Microsoft, who argued that Motorola has violated a patent related to text messaging. The ruling would allow Microsoft to pursue a ban on Android products in Germany. Motorola won a similar decision earlier in the month in a German court that would allow them to pursue a ban of Xbox 360 and Windows products, but a Washington Federal Court has forbid the company for doing so until it makes a ruling in a U.S. legal battle about patents and licensing fees. Many see this decision as a turning point that could lead to some kind of resolution to the long running feud between Google and Microsoft over various patents. Google closed a $12.5 billion deal on Tuesday to acquire Motorola and its patents.
"Google-Motorola will have to take a license, leave the German market, or face serious issues that affect app developers and users," said patent law expert Florian Mueller, a legal consultant who runs the blog Foss Patents in a tweet today. Mueller has consulted for Microsoft on patents in the past.
Motorola said that it plans to closely review the written decision which is expected to be released on June 1, and figure out what its options are moving forward including an appeal.
Microsoft said it hopes that Motorola would join other Android device makers by licensing the company's patents.