Just when you start thinking the U.S. government doesn’t have universal power of every other nation, they go and do something crazy. A federal judge has ruled that Motorola will not be allowed to ban the sale of Microsoft products, the Xbox 360 and anything with Windows 7, in Germany, despite the fact that a German court granted it back in May.
Let’s start from the beginning: Motorola had sued Microsoft after finding that the video player used in many of Microsoft’s digital products, including Internet Explorer, and the Xbox media player, infringed on their own media playing software patents. In May, the German legal system found in favor of Motorola, and a judge granted them an injunction that would force retailers to stop selling any infringing products, which is pretty much everything made by Microsoft. Unfortunately for Motorola, a U.S. judge had already filed a restraining order against Motorola over the ban. Yesterday, the U.S. court of appeals upheld that decision, so effectively the U.S. has revoked Motorola’s right to impose a ban in Germany, granted by German courts.
As it turns out, this isn’t actually a gross abuse of power. Since the dispute between Microsoft and Google, Motorola’s parent company is based on U.S. patent law, the ultimate decision-making power rests in the hands of the U.S. judicial system. The Ninth circuit court of appeals, which made yesterday’s ruling, conceded in their ruling that the basis for the decision may seem counter-intuitive, but justified their decision; “At bottom, this case is a private dispute under Washington state contract law between two US corporations.”
- More on the German sales ban of Microsoft products.
- Germany grants a lot of sales injunctions
- At least nobody owes one billion dollars.
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