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US Judge Rules Against German Microsoft Injunction 272

Posted by samzenpus
from the trump-card dept.
angry tapir writes "In an unusual case, a U.S. judge has ruled that Motorola cannot enforce an injunction that would prevent Microsoft from selling Windows products in Germany, should a German court issue such an injunction next week. Microsoft asked the judge for the ruling in anticipation of an injunction that a German court is expected to issue related to a patent infringement suit that Motorola filed against Microsoft in Germany. The suit centers primarily on Motorola licenses that have been declared essential to the H.264 video standard. The German injunction is expected on April 17."
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US Judge Rules Against German Microsoft Injunction

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  • Eh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by g0tai (625459) on Thursday April 12, 2012 @05:26AM (#39655251)
    IANAL, so can someone explain to me why a US court thinks it has any effect in Germany? Or is this some kind of 'threat'/'international business' thing that has some legal basis for multinational companies?
    • Re:Eh? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by buchner.johannes (1139593) on Thursday April 12, 2012 @05:30AM (#39655263) Homepage Journal

      The US thinks their jurisdiction is the whole world -- they think copyright, software patents, making laws after something happened rather than before (Common law), screaming out on a marketplace of ideas to determine the best ... is a universal thing and awesome.
      But hey, if you're big, you don't need to care to listen.

      • It's a fact (Score:3, Funny)

        by Taco Cowboy (5327)

        It's a fact that Germany will never be Germany without the United States of America

        Without the United States of America, Germany will be known as "Deutschland"

        You certainly don't want that, do you?

        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          Oh, come on, mods, that was funny! Sheesh, some people have no sense of humor. I always thought Deutschland was a hilarious name for a country. Probably not back in WWII though...

          As to this ruling, I think the judge, plaintiffs, and defendants are the douches here.

          And the moderators are the wooshes. Or is that wooshies?

      • Re:Eh? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by erroneus (253617) on Thursday April 12, 2012 @06:05AM (#39655425) Homepage

        I tend to think that if Motorola does something in Germany, they will pay the consequences here in the US. Of course the US judge doesn't expect his ruling to have any effect on what happens in Germany. This is the US seeking to control what plaintiffs do in other countries.

        Is this an example of the US over-reaching? Oh yeah. But this is about trying to get Motorola, a company with presence in the US, to behave in a fashion which suits the interests of the businesses in the US... or at least the ones who have been contributing the most to government election campaigns.

        Things are getting more heated and more dirty. Also, very, very interesting.

        • Re:Eh? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Richard_at_work (517087) <richardprice&gmail,com> on Thursday April 12, 2012 @07:04AM (#39655669)

          The judge has definitely overstepped the mark here, in my opinion.

          Motorola is seeking a limitation in another jurisdiction, under different rules, not the local jurisdiction under the local rules.

          By seeking to prevent Motorola from partaking in legal action in another jurisdiction, the judge has certainly limited Motorolas freedom to operate.

          • Re:Eh? (Score:5, Interesting)

            by erroneus (253617) on Thursday April 12, 2012 @07:16AM (#39655713) Homepage

            And that is definitely an issue for an appeals court or the supreme court to rule on. But how far does that go? After all, companies and individuals are routinely held to account for operating within the unspoken rules of business in China which is all about bribes and corruption being built right into the culture and expectations of all involved.

            So it's not a question of practice, but where the line should be drawn isn't it?

            • Re:Eh? (Score:5, Insightful)

              by Richard_at_work (517087) <richardprice&gmail,com> on Thursday April 12, 2012 @07:31AM (#39655795)

              The line should be drawn at illegal practices, in my opinion - however, this particular case has nothing to do with illegal practices.

              Motorola are doing something completely legal in both the US and Germany, they are just doing it in German jurisdiction. The US Judge is threatening Motorola in US jurisdiction for something that isn't illegal in either place.

              The US Judge is trying to trump the authority of the German judge in his own jurisdiction. Thats overstepping the mark.

              • Re:Eh? (Score:5, Interesting)

                by pugugly (152978) on Thursday April 12, 2012 @07:52AM (#39655933)

                My reading of this is that the German lawsuit was filed after the U.S. lawsuit, expressly because Motorola didn't particularly like the way the U.S. Lawsuit was going, aka Motorola was Forum Shopping after the fact and hoping to use that result to pressure Microsoft to give in the original case.

                Practically I don't see that the U.S. Court had any choice but to slap them down hard to discourage that as a tactic. Don't like how your case is going here? Sue in France!

                Pug

                • by Kjella (173770)

                  There's no court that has jurisdiction of the world. Yes, if we're in an US court we could negotiate a worldwide license to end the legal problem here and in every other jurisdiction, but if we don't reach an agreement then I would think US courts decide for the US, German courts decide for Germany and every other country for itself. I wouldn't be surprised if Motorola could sue in German court over damages caused by the US court by interfering with the German court. The lawyers are going to win, that's for

                • Re:Eh? (Score:5, Insightful)

                  by chrb (1083577) on Thursday April 12, 2012 @08:26AM (#39656171)

                  Don't like how your case is going here? Sue in France!

                  Which is absolutely fine, as any rulings of the French trade courts will only apply in France, not the United States. Contrary to what Microsoft claim, they doesn't need to license any E.U. patents for territories outside of the E.U. - the jurisdiction of E.U. patents ends at the E.U. borders.

                  Would you be happy if the E.U. courts began to make judgements against Microsoft etc., and expressly said that the jurisdiction of those judgements wasn't just within the E.U., but also covered the U.S.? It is a blatant attempt to extend the jurisdictional territory of national patents onto other nations, which is certainly not allowed under the existing patent treaties. What if Chinese courts decide that they have the jurisdiction to rule on U.S. patent cases?

                  • Buzz!!! Wrong Statement on the EU Patents not being enforcable in the United States. Due to Treaties, EU Patents hold the same validity as U.S. Patents do in the United States. Otherwise you are talking the exact same thing that China is being accused of doing; which is not recognizing patents from anywhere other then China. Pot meet Kettle. Simply put, if EU Patents weren't recognized, U.S. Patents wouldn't be recognized either, meaning an all out trade war as companies would steal any and every good idea

                    • Re:Eh? (Score:5, Informative)

                      by chrb (1083577) on Thursday April 12, 2012 @11:12AM (#39658125)
                      The USPTO disagree: [uspto.gov]

                      How do I protect my patent internationally?
                      Since the rights granted by a U.S. patent extend only throughout the territory of the United States and have no effect in a foreign country, an inventor who wishes patent protection in other countries must apply for a patent in each of the other countries or in regional patent offices. Almost every country has its own patent law, and a person desiring a patent in a particular country must make an application for patent in that country, in accordance with the requirements of that country.

              • Re:Eh? (Score:4, Informative)

                by DJRumpy (1345787) on Thursday April 12, 2012 @08:31AM (#39656211)

                Read the article again. The suit was filed in a US court before Motorola then went to Germany and file a suit for patent infringement with two key FRAND patents in this case (they are asking MS for %2.25 of it's sales price/unit). The judge's position is that Motorola is seeking to use the threat of injunction in Germany to try to force MS to settle for less reasonable terms before the U.S. judge makes his decision. The judge agreed that Motorola was attempting to pre-empt a decision by the U.S. court to their advantage.

                The meat of the article is here:

                Issuing the order preventing Motorola from enforcing a German injunction caused the least amount of harm, Robart said. If he had allowed Motorola to enforce a German injunction, Microsoft might have needed to remove its Windows products from the German market, or the company could have decided to negotiate a license, but only with the threat of an injunction hanging over its head. Granting Microsoft's request, however, simply requires Motorola to maintain the status quo, he said.

                At a hearing on Wednesday, Motorola's lawyer argued that Robart shouldn't interfere in the German case because the actions in the German court will have no impact on any ruling the U.S. judge might make in the future. Should the German court set a licensing rate that the U.S. court later ruled was too high, the U.S. courts could compel Motorola to pay back Microsoft for what it overpaid, said Jess Jenner, a lawyer with Ropes and Gray who represents Motorola.

                Robart didn't support that reasoning. "The court is not persuaded by this argument," Robart said.

                In addition, Jenner argued that the U.S. could set different rates for different regions of the world.

                Motorola has offered Microsoft a worldwide license that would require Microsoft to pay Motorola 2.25 percent of the end-user price of the product. Motorola assumed that that percentage would change and that Microsoft would ask for different rates in different countries, Jenner said. "Parties in a negotiation situation always make an opening offer. Nobody assumes that Microsoft will say 'that's great, where do we send the check,'" he said. Typically, the licensee examines each company's patent holdings in different countries and negotiates different rates in different markets, he said. Motorola has negotiated "dozens" of license agreements like that, he said.

                But both Microsoft and the judge noted that Motorola's offer to Microsoft was for a worldwide license. The judge also pointed out that Motorola's offer included both U.S. and international patents. "If Motorola didn't want foreign patents subject to this court it would not have offered them to Microsoft," he said.

                Motorola is a global company, and they have vested interests in the U.S.. Given Motorola's apparently willingness to extort companies on F/RAND patents, I don't have much pity for them.

                • by Shompol (1690084)

                  Given Motorola's apparently willingness to extort companies on F/RAND patents, I don't have much pity for them.

                  Does it say the lawsuit is against Microsoft? The same Microsoft that gets paid $5 for every Android device sold in the world while they had 0 participation in making it? They also made no claims that Android uses any of Microsoft IP. What they said was: pay us or we use our vast patent portfolio and a small army of layers to make you pay. That's called extortion. I say good luck Motorola, go after them in every jurisdiction! Microsoft's lawyers need to be kept busy or they get out of hand and start raping

            • by chrb (1083577)

              After all, companies and individuals are routinely held to account for operating within the unspoken rules of business in China which is all about bribes and corruption

              That is a different thing - bribery of foreign officials is explicitly illegal under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. [wikipedia.org]

              • by khipu (2511498)

                Well, so we agree then that the US has jurisdiction over Motorola and can tell Motorola what to do even in foreign nations. The question now just becomes whether Motorola's conduct in Germany is actually against US law. You suggest it doesn't, but that's ultimately for this court and its superior courts to work out.

          • Re:Eh? (Score:5, Funny)

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 12, 2012 @07:49AM (#39655927)

            >The judge has definitely overstepped the mark here, in my opinion.

            Germany uses the Euro these days.

          • by khipu (2511498)

            Motorola and Microsoft are both US companies, making them subject to US laws. That means, for example, that if they try to bribe people abroad, they get punished in the US. And it means that if they try to circumvent a US judge's authority by playing legal games in other jurisdictions, a US judge can impose sanctions on those US companies.

            The principle is pretty simple: you are subject to a nation's laws if that nation actually has an ability to enforce those laws against you. Since Motorola has plenty o

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by stiggle (649614)

          It's not a case of protecting a US company. It's the judge protecting his court, as a similar case is due in front of him there next month.
          So the US judge would rather not have a German court decide on the issue before he gets his chance to as preserving US court power is more important than abiding by international law.

          But to add a twist - Motorola is now under investigation by the EU over 'standards-based patents' following complaints by Apple & Microsoft.
          http://www.gfmag.com/latestnews/latest-news-ol [gfmag.com]

      • by hairyfeet (841228)

        That's because our cartels frankly own the US gov and sadly are buying more govs overseas as well. No need to worry about that pesky "will of the people thing" if you just buy off whomever wins.

        BTW does this mean we can FINALLY put that whole "do no evil" thing right next to "think different" and whatever lame ass slogan MSFT has which i can't even think of? I mean Google DID buy out Motorola, correct? that was allowed to happen right? which would mean we now have all three major players trolling with paten

      • by beh (4759) *

        While I would agree with that take on the US, I would also add - it's nothing specific to the US.

        Much like politicians say 'bullying' is wrong in school yards, they just do it themselves as far as smaller or economically weaker countries are involved.

        The US do it to Germany (like in this case), Germany do it to the Swiss (re tax law; despite there being tax havens INSIDE the EU, or outside of Europe - they target Switzerland; or noise pollution at airports - Germans should suffer noise from German airp

    • by DarkOx (621550)

      Possibly because these are US companies and we have trade agreements.

      • Hopefully this sets a precedent and I say to the judge, thank you.

        International patent agreements are one thing but they should be decided upon within the legal systems of the head office of various corporations or in the country the patent was first filed.

        Instead we have patent wars by international proxy, tieing up the various legal systems around the world be it, say, Motorola vs MS in Germany or Apple vs Samsung in Australia.

      • Microsoft - a Multinational company based in the USA
        Google - who wholly owns Motorola - a Multinational company based in the USA

        These are not strictly speaking American companies, they are multinationals with offices in many countries, which is why there is a lawsuit in Germany at all ...

    • IANAL either, but I think it's not that the US is making German policy, but more the US is saying a large economy-supporting US company that the government itself directly depends upon isn't allowed to hurt another large economy-supporting US company that the government itself directly depends upon. Motorola makes the radios the gov uses outside of the cellular network in many departments from national security to space exploration. Microsoft makes the software that most of the government computers run on
      • by 1s44c (552956)

        Or of course it could just be that USA consider themselves world police.

        That seems more likely.

    • Re:Eh? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Lonewolf666 (259450) on Thursday April 12, 2012 @05:38AM (#39655311)

      After reading the article, it seems the US court is ordering Motorola not to use the German legal system to block sales of Windows in Germany. So if Motorola were to do it anyway, I guess German customs would still enforce the injunction, but Motorola mangement in the US would risk punishment.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        So if Motorola were to do it anyway, I guess German customs would still enforce the injunction, but Motorola mangement in the US would risk punishment.

        I'm just curious, as to what law Motorola would have broken by pursuing legal action in another country against another US company, that would allow for its management to be punished? And what punishment would that be?
        I mean, I didn't even think laws that can punish management existed at all in the US.

        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Brannigans Law.

        • by erroneus (253617)

          Off the top of my head, contempt of court. A US court is ordering a US company not to persue another US company in a court in another nation.

          Now, whether or not the ruling of the court is appropriate is a matter for the court of appeals.

          • by nschubach (922175)

            But what if these are for German Patents?

            The judge also pointed out that Motorola's offer included both U.S. and international patents.

            Would you want the validity of US patents to be handled by Chinese courts?

            • by khipu (2511498)

              If Chinese and US courts make conflicting rulings so that a company can't comply with both, it has to decide which of the two nations it wants to continue to operate in and withdraw from the other. Doesn't seem very complicated.

    • Re:Eh? (Score:5, Informative)

      by DarkDust (239124) <marc@darkdust.net> on Thursday April 12, 2012 @06:10AM (#39655445) Homepage

      In Germany, if the court grants you an injunction it is not automatically enforced immediately. The winning party needs to explicitly enforce it.

      Now a US court decided that the company Motorola may not enforce this injunction should it win it, since there are ongoing actions that have not been decided (like, whether the patent in question is actually invalid). So if Motorola were to enforce this injunction it would have an unfair disadvantage.

      So the US court has not interfered with German courts: it only ruled what the company Motorola may do should it win this battle in Germany.

      • by DarkDust (239124)
        s/unfair disadvantage/unfair advantage/
      • Re:Eh? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 12, 2012 @07:08AM (#39655681)

        In Germany, if the court grants you an injunction it is not automatically enforced immediately. The winning party needs to explicitly enforce it.

        Now a US court decided that the company Motorola may not enforce this injunction should it win it, since there are ongoing actions that have not been decided (like, whether the patent in question is actually invalid). So if Motorola were to enforce this injunction it would have an unfair disadvantage.

        So the US court has not interfered with German courts: it only ruled what the company Motorola may do should it win this battle in Germany.

        So a German court could give Motorola the right to enforce the injunction, but said right should Motorola win will be inhibited by a US court. How the hell is this not interfering with the German decision ?
        God damn the US, if only we could blast that shit country into deep space.

        • by Baloroth (2370816)

          So a German court could give Motorola the right to enforce the injunction, but said right should Motorola win will be inhibited by a US court. How the hell is this not interfering with the German decision ? God damn the US, if only we could blast that shit country into deep space.

          ...Because Motorola is an American company, and is therefore obligated to follow US law. They also have to follow German law: but they don't have to enforce the injunction.

        • by alexo (9335)

          So a German court could give Motorola the right to enforce the injunction, but said right should Motorola win will be inhibited by a US court. How the hell is this not interfering with the German decision?

          Because this is a US court regulating the acts of a US company[*] in similar ways that the US regulates the acts of its citizens in other countries.
          (Any US citizen wishing to dispute that claim may try to do so by travelling to Spain and having friendly sex with a 13 years old, which is legal under Spanish law [wikipedia.org].)

          [*] According to Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]: Motorola Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: MSI) is an American data communications and telecommunications equipment provider that succeeded Motorola Inc. following the spin-off of th

    • The US case started before DE case.

      Motorlola proposed worldwide 2.25% license fee at the US court (which MS refused ... obviously).

      I do not think these are valid. Each country has different laws. There cannot be a common resolution of a dispute pressed by one court over the whole word. In the worst case, (when companies do not come to agreement) they will sue each other in every jurisdiction separately. I think that is OK.

    • by MDillenbeck (1739920) on Thursday April 12, 2012 @07:13AM (#39655699)

      IANAL, so can someone explain to me why a US court thinks it has any effect in Germany? Or is this some kind of 'threat'/'international business' thing that has some legal basis for multinational companies?

      From the source article:

      The U.S. court should be the one to rule on that issue, Microsoft argued, because Microsoft filed its lawsuit against Motorola over the terms of a licensing deal before Motorola filed its suit in Germany.

      So, basically, they are arguing they have jurisdiction because the dispute originated in the US - and it sounds like the US justice system feels that the Motorola suit was more retaliation against Microsoft for bringing up the case than a preplanned and poorly timed execution.

      Personally, however, I believe the US would never tolerate another country making the same claim. Instead, the US would claim sovereign rights and not bow to any court, national or international (yes, the US has refused to recognize the proceedings of the International Criminal Court - showing how much it believes in having other powers meddle in its governance). Thus the US should respect the sovereignty of other nations to manage their own legal proceedings since we have no jurisdiction over Germany.

    • A US Judge telling two US companies what they can do, afaik. Seems legit to me. Just because I take you to another country to beat you with a stick, doesn't mean you can't sue me in US court when we return.

    • IANAL, so can someone explain to me why a US court thinks it has any effect in Germany? Or is this some kind of 'threat'/'international business' thing that has some legal basis for multinational companies?

      Probably because it involves two US based companies embroiled in a dispute in US court as well and therefore the US court has the power to issue an oder to the two parties. Motorola first rolled the dice in a US court, and then tried to get a second roll in Germany as a hedge against losing the first. A US judge said "no can do."Had Motorola not started in a US court this would not have happened.

    • IANAL, so can someone explain to me why a US court thinks it has any effect in Germany?

      It's a federal crime to go abroad for the purpose of having sex with a minor. One may seem justified and the other not, but the underlying legal principle is the same. You are an American (or American corporation). You are at all times and places subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. You may disagree with that, and often the feds won't push it. However, if you come back into contact with the federal government

    • The US court is saying: we can punish you here in the US if you choose to do in Germany what the German court says you are allowed to do there.


      --
      All that is necessary for Apple to triumph is for Google men to do nothing.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Oh right, forgot about that.

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      He writes long suits and he's coming to sue you
      Degree on his wall and I can assure you
      There ain't no court where a lawyer can enjoy his ruling in Deutschland.

      Now he's quick with an injunction and he's fast on the standards and in America he is the law
      He don't know a word of jurisdiction, everybodys safe when Microsoft's near.

      Put a case on him now, in front of the court, showing us where the patents are
      There's one thing you must understand, Microsofts the law in Deutschland.

      He was part of a firm, h
  • by Anonymous Coward

    The Judge ruled that: Motorola shall not enforce an injunction in Germany.

    The Judge did not rule that: a German court can't enforce an injunction in Germany.

    Jurisdictions remain intact.

    • by Taco Cowboy (5327)

      The Judge ruled that: Motorola shall not enforce an injunction in Germany.

      The Judge did not

      Question:

      When was the last time a private entity given the right to enforce a legal injunction?

      • By not following through with their legal efforts to obtain said injunction?

      • by rioki (1328185) on Thursday April 12, 2012 @10:07AM (#39657187) Homepage

        The way this works in Germany is that the court gives you a paper that says can order an injunction and what terms apply (in most cases you must post a bond). You then can take that paper to the Gerichtsvollzieher (marshal / bailiff) which then executes the injunction. The interesting point is that these two steps are independent and you can chose not to execute the injunction.

        So the judge ordered Motorola not to execute the injunction. How that is interfering with German sovereignty is a different and debatable point.

    • by Alex Belits (437) *

      Motorola's actions outside US are still outside US court's jurisdiction.

    • by gweihir (88907)

      Ah, I see. As private companies are not allowed to enforce anything anyways in Germany, this has no effect. The way it works is that the private company has to ask the police and/or customs to enforce the injunction. Anything else would land them in legal hot water, up to and including the ones trying to "enforce" things landing in prison.

  • if the court judgement comes, would motorola need to enforce it? wouldn't it be the court that enforces it.

    but the us judge made this decision just because if he didn't, he would have been unnecessary and would have to judge some real cases that matter but where there isn't as much money involved.

    • by pegdhcp (1158827)
      IANAL: Here (in Turkey) a private entity can neglect to follow required procedures to complete the ruling that grant some king of benefit to them, by not filing the ruling with proper authorities, if the case is a civil law case. For example after a divorce to keep track of alimony payments is the responsibility of receiving party. But this is applicable only to civil cases related to real people.

      AFAIK USA is the only country that treats companies as real people. In Turkey and again AFAIK our regulations a

    • by gweihir (88907)

      Actually, the court cannot enforce anything. It can order the police and/or customs to enforce things, but that is it. Courts have very little direct power in Germany.

    • by rioki (1328185)
      In Germany the court only does the ruling and deciding. The winning party then has to go to the police and customs and instruct them to execute the given ruling. But going to the police is at the discretion of the winning party.
  • LOL (Score:3, Interesting)

    by WindBourne (631190) on Thursday April 12, 2012 @05:59AM (#39655391) Journal
    America just dropped further on the anti-corruption list. Looks like another judge has been bought by MS. As I recall earlier, a fool was gripping that MS is unfairly singled out by media. Yet, here is MS getting an American judge to prevent Motorola from exercising their legal rights in Germany. Sick and Twisted that judges can be bought so easily.

    RootStrikers.org
  • I'm sure that Apple must be keeping a close eye on this case, given their own worldwide legal shenanigans.
  • This is absurd!

    It starts with a case where someone is sued to using patents that HAVE to be used when you want to implement a standard accordingt to that very standard.

    It continues with an US court activly trying to force a company into disrespect of legitimate court verdicts.

    And it turns into hybris when that court wants their findings to be respected outside the boundaries of the US.

    • Since I am seeing this same reaction in several threads, I'll do the legwork and post it in each one... From the source article:

      The U.S. court should be the one to rule on that issue, Microsoft argued, because Microsoft filed its lawsuit against Motorola over the terms of a licensing deal before Motorola filed its suit in Germany.

      I agree with you, Germany is a sovereign country - the US should restrict its recourse to "we will engage in sanctions if you do this", not "our courts find you must do this".

      • Since I am seeing this same reaction in several threads, I'll do the legwork and post it in each one... From the source article:

        The U.S. court should be the one to rule on that issue, Microsoft argued, because Microsoft filed its lawsuit against Motorola over the terms of a licensing deal before Motorola filed its suit in Germany.

        Now we have two courts, in diferent legislations, ruling in the same case? Absurdity++

        I agree with you, Germany is a sovereign country - the US should restrict its recourse to "we will engage in sanctions if you do this", not "our courts find you must do this".

        A company needs to respect the laws of the country it has business in. This should be a basic rule, as that is what both US and Germany are expecting when a company from anywhere in the world starts business there.

  • One wonders why a USA based company would go all the way over to Germany to sue another USA based company....
    • I think companies go to other countries to sue because they multinational forces now. Motorola isn't just in the US with branch offices in other countries; instead, like most corporate entities, they have full legal recognition in many nations. The same applies to Microsoft. The same applies to Apple. To quote Pink Floyd's The Dogs of War: "One world, it's a battleground" - you kick your global opponents where ever you can.

    • by nschubach (922175)

      German Patents...

      The judge also pointed out that Motorola's offer included both U.S. and international patents.

      Would you want the validity of US patents to be handled by Chinese courts?

      • by khipu (2511498)

        Nobody "handles" the validity of patents. Each court can rule as it chooses, and companies have to figure out to comply. If US and Chinese courts make conflicting rulings, the company may have to withdraw from one or the other nation, or it may have to split. There is no guarantee that you can always legally operate a single company in two nations.

  • It is quite simple: If somebody tries to sell these things, they will get impounded and there may be fines for the ones selling them. U.S. law? The Germans could not care less.

  • Bad Move (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Tom (822) on Thursday April 12, 2012 @08:28AM (#39656189) Homepage Journal

    Typical MS arrogance. I know german judges, having both worked with them and been to court (usually as the plaintiff) in quite a few business-related cases. The judge in the german case is going to be pissed. MS is either stupid like shit in the "don't piss of the judge" department, or they already see the case in the german court as lost.

  • How does a US court expect to enforce its decision in Germany?

    Are we going to invade Germany on Microsoft's behalf and make them buy Windows at gunpoint? And is that business model patented?

    • If I understood this correct, it's more along the way of "Motorola is not allowed to damage your business by stopping sales in Germany", if they still do it, they can sue Motorola on U.S. ground for breaking that order of the court. They're both still U.S. based companies, so technically that's silly, but possible.
  • by Bob9113 (14996) on Thursday April 12, 2012 @11:59AM (#39658953) Homepage

    This case centers on Motorola's demands for two FRAND (Free, Reasonable And Non Discriminatory) patents on H.264. The idea behind FRAND is that it allows the use of patent-encumbered technology in public standards, without the fear of lawsuits hobbling creative and technological advancement. FRAND has been championed within standards bodies by companies like Microsoft and Motorola, who promised that FRAND would be just as easy as disallowing patent-encumbered technology. H.264 has been one of the seminal cases of FRAND, with an enormous showdown at W3C between all the heavyweights. Theora was dropped because they promised this would not happen with H.264.

    This case makes it very clear that FRAND is a farce. You can have open technology, which anyone can use, or you can have encumbered technology. Pretending that encumbered technology can work like open technology because a corporation makes a vague promise to be "reasonable" to its competitors is absolute folly.

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