Earlier this year, Microsoft was slapped with an injunction that saw the 4 GB and 250 GB models of the Xbox 360 recommended for a trade ban. Motorola Mobility, now purchased by Google, sued Microsoft over H.264 video encoding technology that they owned and was licensed to Microsoft. Now, a ruling from the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco has declared that the ban cannot be enforced.
The decision would not only have affected the Xbox 360 but several other Windows software products. The ruling will diminish Motorola’s “leverage in the ongoing smartphone patent wars” and would help Microsoft “counteract a favorable dynamic for Google in Germany.” Reuters reports:
“After a court in Mannheim issued the sales ban, U.S. District Judge James Robart in Seattle granted Microsoft’s request to put the German order on hold earlier this year. According to Robart, the ruling would remain in effect until he could determine whether Motorola could appropriately seek a sales ban based on its standard essential patents.
“In its ruling on Friday, a three-judge 9th Circuit unanimously upheld Robart’s order. Since Microsoft had already brought a lawsuit against Motorola for breach of contract in the United States, U.S. courts have the power to put the German injunction on hold, the 9th Circuit said.”
Ultimately, the courts decided that the case is “a private dispute under Washington state contract law between two U.S. corporations.”
Motorola sued the Xbox 360 manufacturer in response to a lawsuit filed by Microsoft in the United States. Microsoft claimed that Motorola is asking for too much royalties on the use of technology that is “standard” and are “essential parts of its software.” European authorities are currently investigating Motorola for anti-trust violations.