German court says Microsoft can ban sales of some Motorola devices

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A German court ruled Thursday that Google Inc. unit Motorola Mobility infringes a Microsoft Corp. patent and granted Microsoft the right for an injunction against the sale of the affected devices in Germany. “With this decision, Microsoft has the ability to enforce an injunction on infringing Motorola devices,” Microsoft said in a statement.

The ruling affects a number of smartphones and tablets. The affected models are called Milestone, Milestone 2, DEFY, PRO, ATRIX, Flipout, Backflip, Milestone XT720, XOOM, XOOM WiFi, and Dext.

“We will continue to enforce injunctions against Motorola products in Germany and hope Motorola will join other Android device makers by taking a license to Microsoft’s patented inventions,” Microsoft Corporate Vice President David Howard said in an emailed statement.

“The German court in Munich ruled today that Motorola does infringe Microsoft’s patent for soft input panel system and method, which helps mobile phone keyboards communicate with applications,” Microsoft said.

Microsoft has to pay a security of EUR47.5 million ($61.4 million) if it wants the sales ban to be carried out and all devices at retailers and wholesalers removed, the court said.