Motorola phones will still be banned in Germany, rules court

An injunction against sales of the phones stands after a German court rejected an appeal by Google's Motorola unit.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney

Motorola phones will continue to face a ban on their sales in Germany.

On Thursday, the Munich Higher Regional Court rejected an appeal by Google-Motorola to lift the injunction of its Android phones. In May 2012, a German court ruled that the company had violated a Microsoft patent over SMS, ordering a sales ban against its phones in Germany. Google appealed the ruling, but the court was unswayed.

Dubbed "Communicating multi-part messages between cellular devices using a standardized interface," the patent in question relates to text messaging.

"We are gratified the court has affirmed the District Court's original decision and that Motorola remains unable to sell infringing products in Germany," a Microsoft spokesperson told CNET.

The Munich Higher Regional Court did not allow for a further appeal, according to Foss Patents' Florian Muller, putting Google-Motorola in a difficult position. The company could try to appeal the finding to the Federal Court of Justice, but that court rules only on certain types of legal issues. Google-Motorola could also attempt to have the patent invalidated by the Federal Patent Court, but that also appears to be a bit of a long shot.

"We're disappointed in the decision," a Motorola spokesperson told CNET. "We believe the patent in question is invalid, and we look forward to having a hearing on that issue."

Updated at 9:35 a.m. PT with statement from Microsoft.