Motorola wins one over Microsoft in German patent case

The mobile company was found to not be infringing a patent Microsoft holds related to applications running on different devices.

Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger

Score one for Motorola Mobility in the company's ongoing legal battle with Microsoft.

The Google subsidiary today was found to not be infringing a patent Microsoft holds related to applications running on different devices without having to write separate code for each product. The ruling came down in the Mannheim Regional Court in Germany, which has become a hotbed of patent lawsuit activity.

Reuters was first to report on the news.

Motorola's victory today comes less than a week after a federal appeals panel in San Francisco upheld an earlier ruling that stopped the mobile company from blocking Microsoft's Xbox and Windows software sales in Germany. Motorola had previously won a ruling in Germany over Microsoft's use of its H.264 patent in its products. A U.S. court has stopped the injunction from being enforced, pending investigation into the matter in the U.S.

That issue, along with today's ruling, seems to highlight one key point: neither Microsoft nor Motorola has been able to gain an upperhand. In fact, when one company wins a case, the other quickly steps forward with its own success.

A similar scenario has been playing out in other cases between mobile companies.

Today's ruling does not affect other cases Microsoft and Motorola have open around the world. However, it's one less issue the companies -- and weary spectators -- need to worry about.

CNET has contacted both Microsoft and Motorola for comment. We will update this story when we have more information.