Microsoft wins patent fight with Google's Motorola unit
Published: 25th May 2012 12:44:27
A German court has ruled that Motorola Mobility infringed a Microsoft patent which allows long text messages to be divided into parts and then reassembled by receiving handsets.
It marks the first patent ruling against Google since it completed its takeover of Motorola.
Microsoft can now demand a German sales ban of Motorola products, although it signalled it would prefer a licence fee.
Google said it may appeal.
Google's chief executive had previously said that his firm bought Motorola and its patents "to better protect Android from anti-competitive threats from Microsoft, Apple and other companies".
Microsoft and Motorola have repeatedly clashed this month over a series of patent disputes.
Motorola won the right to order the recall and destruction of Xbox 360 games consoles and Windows 7 system software in Germany at the start of May.
A judge at the International Trade Commission (ITC) subsequently recommended there should also be a Xbox import and sales ban in the US.
However, another Seattle judge has ordered Motorola to hold off from enforcing any such bans until it ruled on a related complaint.
Microsoft won a separate patent victory against Motorola earlier this month when the ITC ruled that the handset maker's Android-based devices infringed an appointment scheduling patent owned by the Microsoft.
The Windows software maker has already forced other firms including Samsung, HTC and others to pay it for the use of its innovations within Google's system software.
The latest ruling centres on a European patent named "communicating multi-part messages between cellular devices using a standardised interface".
It is designed to tackle the problem that SMS messages were designed to offer a maximum of 160 characters.
It describes a way of "fragmenting" a longer text into smaller parts and then "reassembling" it within an application on the receiver's handset.
Florian Mueller, a patent consultant who advises Microsoft, was at the ruling made at a court in Munich.
He blogged that Google could find it difficult to work around the problem if it refuses to pay a licence fee.
"Since this patent covers operating system-level functionality, the modifications 'Googlerola' would have to make to Android... would lead to significant complications," he wrote.
"Android apps that make use of Android's messaging layer would have to be rewritten, and some functionality that Android used to provide to app developers would have to be implemented by the affected applications themselves."
A statement from Google said: "We expect a written decision from the court on 1 June and upon review, will explore all options including appeal."
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Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Microsoft wins patent fight with Google's Motorola unit [Online] (Updated 25th May 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1430956/Microsoft-wins-patent-fight-with-Googles-Motorola-unit [Accessed 1st Sep 2014]
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With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com