Mein Gott! Motorola Wins Technical Ban on Windows and Xbox in Germany

By Gary Cutlack on at

Some more amazing developments have emerged from the European patent war hotbed, with news today that Motorola has managed to win an injunction against Xbox and Windows 7 in Germany.

The injunction covers Windows 7, Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser, its Media Player and Xbox console, which could be stopped from being distributed in Germany and see MS forced to recall existing retail stock should Motorola win a separate legal battle to actually enforce the injunction.

The claim covers standard-essential patents (known as FRAND cases) that are used in the H.264 video codec, which Motorola owns. Microsoft believes these patents should be released for all to use, at a fair cost, as they're critical for general web video purposes. Motorola would rather MS pays it loads of money to use them, hence the court mess.

It's unlikely to actually reach a stage where Motorola's bailiffs are pulling Xbox 360s off German shop shelves and having them burned in the street, though. Microsoft will appeal this decision, the case will drag on, and some sort of money-based halfway house solution will no doubt emerge.

Or the EU might step in to broker a fix, as it's already got its eye on Motorola and Google's increasingly combative use of patents. [FOSS Patents via The Verge]