Motorola and Microsoft are no strangers to the patent war tango, and today marks the third injunction against the Droid maker in the German court. Judge Dr. Guntz of the Munich I regional court ruled that Motorola infringes on a Microsoft patent for "soft input panel system and method," granting Microsoft the ability to ban sales of some Motorola devices in the country. Essentially, the patent in question covers the software required to let applications flexibly receive input from different sources, such as the touchscreen keyboard and voice input.

As Florian Mueller of Foss Patents points out, the functionality covered by this patent is utilized by the vast majority of apps, and among Android device makers only Google-owned Motorola Mobility is not paying Microsoft a patent license for this feature. Microsoft Corporate Vice President David Howard issued a statement with a not-so-subtle dig at the company in question: "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." Google can (and most certainly will) appeal the ruling, so the saga continues...