German court invalidates Microsoft patent used for Motorola phone sales ban

Microsoft can appeal the ruling

A Microsoft storage patent that was used to get a sales ban on products from Google-owned Motorola Mobility in Germany has been invalidated by the German Federal Patent Court.

Microsoft's FAT (File Allocation Table) patent, which concerns a "common name space for long and short filenames" was invalidated on Thursday, a spokeswoman for the Federal Patent Court said in an email Friday. She could not give the exact reasons for the court's decision before the written judicial decision is released, which will take a few weeks.

The File Allocation Table is a file system that traditionally only supports short file names in a rigid format, which makes it hard to give media files understandable and searchable names. Because that can be frustrating, Microsoft wanted to provide a system that supports a common name space for both long and short file names, so people can easily label and find their files, according to the patent in question.

In July 2012, the Regional Court of Mannheim granted Microsoft an injunction against several Motorola phones based on the same patent. However, before the injunction could be enforced, Microsoft needed to take certain steps such as posting a bond, in case the injunction was overturned on appeal. While Microsoft said at the time it wanted the injunction to be enforced, it is unclear whether this actually happened.

The ban was for phones including the Motorla Droid Razr, the Droid Razr Maxx and the Motorola Atrix.

Microsoft did not immediately comment on the matter. Motorola Mobility, which brought the patent validity case to the Federal Patent Court, did not reply to a request for comment.

The dispute about this patent could continue.

"The case can be appealed by Microsoft within a month after the formal notification of the judgement" with the Federal Court of Justice in Karlsruhe, the court's spokeswoman said.

Loek is Amsterdam Correspondent and covers online privacy, intellectual property, open-source and online payment issues for the IDG News Service. Follow him on Twitter at @loekessers or email tips and comments to loek_essers@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags MicrosoftMotorolalegalintellectual propertypatent

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Loek Essers

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?