The latest development in our neverending saga of worldwide patent warfare is a decision by a Mannheim judge banning Motorola's Android devices on the basis that they violate a FAT storage patent owned by Microsoft. FOSSPatents' Florian Mueller tweets that it is the third victory by Microsoft over Motorola, and Microsoft has already issued a triumphant statement of victory which you can read after the break. There's more details about patent EP0618540 on the site -- it deals with common name space for long and short file names -- including a note about an email from Linux creator Linus Torvalds being cited as prior art. Motorola has been swinging its own patents around as well, but most recently a case to ban the Xbox 360 was delayed. We haven't heard from Motorola or Google on this ruling yet or what their response will be -- entering into a licensing agreement or changing the storage system used on their phones are possible options. Microsoft will have to put up a 10 million euro bond to enforce an injunction if it chooses, we'll check back once the other shoe drops.
Update: We've just received Motorola's response -- brief but to the point:"We are in process of reviewing the ruling, and will explore our options including appeal. We don't anticipate an impact on our operations at this time."
"Today's decision, which follows similar rulings in the U.S. and Germany, is further proof that Motorola Mobility is broadly infringing Microsoft's intellectual property. We will continue to enforce injunctions against Motorola Mobility products in those countries and hope they will join other Android device makers by taking a license to Microsoft's patented inventions."
- David Howard, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel, Microsoft