German court decides to re-open Motorola-Microsoft case; stays coming for Apple-Samsung?

German court decides to re-open Motorola-Microsoft case; stays coming for Apple-Samsung?
It has been a busy Friday at Mannheim Regional Court in Germany. First, the court decided to continue analyzing a case involving patents belonging to Motorola that the company claims Microsoft has infringed. The patents deal with push notification of email and until a ruling is made, German Hotmail and Microsoft Exchange users will be able to continue receiving BlackBerry-esque push notifications.  Of the four patents, two are barred by a U.S. court, Microsoft's prior user right might prevent the push notification patent from being enforced, and Motorola withdrew the fourth complaint which was related to a method of splitting handwritten input. The latter complaint was about to go to trial this year. Motorola had been enforcing its push notification patent (EP0847654) against Apple's iCloud and MobileMe in Germany, but could face a more difficult situation in getting this patent upheld for Microsoft's Hotmail and Exchange server.

On Friday, Judge Andreas Voss said that he is not ready to make a decision and has reopened the case because an April 20th pleading by Microsoft brought up credible facts that would allow the Redmond based software giant to use a prior user defense in a new trial. Regardless of whether or not a new trial is ordered, we are looking at a delay of a few months while the court re-examines the case.

Foss Patents has written up a scorecard of the Apple-Samsung legal battles. So far, Samsung has not won anything in court against Apple anywhere in the world, and has lost its first three German patent cases. Meanwhile, Apple has yet to have a technical patent or utility model enforced. It has had some success with patents related to design or claims of unfair competition. In March, the court in Mannheim tossed out Apple's infringement claim on its slide to unlock utility patent not because the infringement didn't happen, but because of a question about the validity of the claim.

Last week, the Mannheim Court stayed a case brought by Apple over a photo gallery patent that was successfully enforced by Apple in other countries. Back in Germany, the court is expected to issue rulings soon on some of the Apple-Samsung battles that we have been hearing about and Foss Patents expects to see more stays issued by the court. This doesn't mean that the cases have been dismissed. A stay is a court ordered suspension in a legal proceeding which means that in these cases, it would not equal a Samsung victory. The court could re-start proceedings if Apple can prove the validity of their patents. And again, there is a big difference between the validity of and the infringement of a patent.

source: FossPatents (1), (2)


Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless