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German Court Grants Microsoft Injunction Against Google's Motorola

MANNHEIM--A German court Friday granted Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) an injunction against Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Motorola Mobility unit over infringement of a patent on common names for long and short file allocation tables, or FAT technology. Presiding judge Andreas Voss told the courtroom in this case the court was "convinced" of patent infringement. The court, in Mannheim, ordered Motorola to pay half the costs. Microsoft sued Motorola for infringing the patent with products including the Razr, Razr Maxx and Atrix smartphones. If enforced by Microsoft, the injunction would require Motorola to recall infringing products from sale in Germany and pay damages. The patent, EP0618540, dates from 1994. "We will continue to enforce injunctions against Motorola Mobility products in [the U.S. and Germany] and hope they will join other Android device makers by taking a license to Microsoft's patented inventions," said David Howard, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel for Microsoft, in a statement. Motorola didn't immediately respond to an emailed request for comment. "If this gets enforced it's going to be much less convenient for users to download files such as photos on to their personal computers" and mobile devices, said Florian Mueller, writer of the Foss Patents blog. Mr. Mueller has carried out consultancy work for Microsoft. Microsoft and Motorola have been locked in a string of legal disputes in German courts, as well as in the U.S. Both sides have been granted injunctions against the other on various copyright issues. The ruling comes a day after a court in Munich dismissed a separate suit brought by Microsoft against Motorola over a patent concerning event management in an operating system. Microsoft said it plans to appeal that ruling. Microsoft has already enforced an injunction against Motorola in Germany based on a win in Munich's regional court in May. That case concerned a patent related to SMS messaging. In the U.S., Microsoft has also enforced an injunction handed down in a May ruling by the International Trade Commission, which prevents Motorola from importing products that infringe Microsoft's ActiveSync, technology used to sync entries in software features. Write to Harriet Torry at Subscribe to WSJ:

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