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Motorola found guilty of Microsoft patent infringement

A German court today found that Motorola has infringed upon Microsoft patents, and granted the latter firm an injunction against the offending products.

Specifically, a Munich court found Motorola guilty of infringing on Microsoft's patent for soft input panel system and method, which Microsoft said "helps mobile phone keyboards communicate with applications."

Microsoft now has the option to enforce the injunction against "a broad range" of Motorola products in Germany and the US, but did not indicate whether it will pursue the bans.

To activate the injunction, Microsoft must pay a bond. Patent blogger Florian Mueller said that will cost 75 million euros, plus 10 million euros extra if Microsoft wants a recall. If Motorola prevails on appeal down the road, it will be awarded the bond for the losses it sustained during the injunction.

"We're pleased this decision builds on previous rulings in Germany that have already found Motorola is broadly infringing Microsoft's intellectual property," David Howard, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel at Microsoft, said in a statement. "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."

In a statement, a Motorola spokeswoman said "we are waiting for the written decision and are evaluating our options, including an appeal."

Microsoft has secured a number of patent victories over Motorola in recent months. In July, a German judge found that Motorola's Android-based devices infringe on a Microsoft-held File Allocation Table (FAT) patent. Back in May, meanwhile, a Munich court ruled that Android-based Motorola devices infringe on a Microsoft messaging patent.

In the US, the International Trade Commission (ITC) in May ordered an import ban on Android-based Motorola devices that infringe on a Microsoft-held patent. That went into effect in July, but the Google-owned Motorola said it has come up with a workaround to address the patent violation that prompted the ban.