Microsoft and Google have been back and forth in court over alleged patent violations that enable Xbox 360 consoles to use H.264 video encoding technology. Now, an injunction in Germany is being dismissed.
It’s been a messy situation all over the board for Motorola, especially since the International Trade Commission ordered an initial ban ruling to be remanded in court.
Essentially, that means Microsoft avoided an import and sales restriction on the Xbox 360 for the United States in 2012, which is critical given how badly the company would be hurt by the lack of console sales during the holidays.
Now, that same injunction in Germany won’t be enforced, since the original case ruling in the Washington court system enforces international expansions on the U.S. injunction ruling. According to Reuters, everything that would’ve been awarded to Google is on hold until Washington state law sorts things out later next year:
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.
Sensing that things wouldn’t go their way, Motorola previously offered a settlement deal to Microsoft, but got turned down pretty quickly.
Given how many companies rely on the Xbox 360 as part of their revenue and profit streams, not to mention international retailers, it’s unlikely that a ban on the console ever happens—rules of commerce just won’t allow it.