×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

US Judge Rules Against German Microsoft Injunction

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the trump-card dept.

Microsoft 272

angry tapir writes "In an unusual case, a U.S. judge has ruled that Motorola cannot enforce an injunction that would prevent Microsoft from selling Windows products in Germany, should a German court issue such an injunction next week. Microsoft asked the judge for the ruling in anticipation of an injunction that a German court is expected to issue related to a patent infringement suit that Motorola filed against Microsoft in Germany. The suit centers primarily on Motorola licenses that have been declared essential to the H.264 video standard. The German injunction is expected on April 17."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

272 comments

Eh? (5, Insightful)

g0tai (625459) | about 2 years ago | (#39655251)

IANAL, so can someone explain to me why a US court thinks it has any effect in Germany? Or is this some kind of 'threat'/'international business' thing that has some legal basis for multinational companies?

Re:Eh? (5, Insightful)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | about 2 years ago | (#39655263)

The US thinks their jurisdiction is the whole world -- they think copyright, software patents, making laws after something happened rather than before (Common law), screaming out on a marketplace of ideas to determine the best ... is a universal thing and awesome.
But hey, if you're big, you don't need to care to listen.

It's a fact (3, Funny)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 2 years ago | (#39655321)

It's a fact that Germany will never be Germany without the United States of America

Without the United States of America, Germany will be known as "Deutschland"

You certainly don't want that, do you?

Re:It's a fact (-1, Flamebait)

Johann Lau (1040920) | about 2 years ago | (#39655339)

It's a fact that you're an idiot, but not much else can be gleamed from your comment.

Re:It's a fact (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39655429)

I'm not sure why you think he is an idiot. he seems to have a fairly good grasp on reality based on the contents of that post.

Re:It's a fact (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39655813)

I'm afraid he seems to have got the USA mixed up with England somewhat.

Re:It's a fact (-1, Troll)

Johann Lau (1040920) | about 2 years ago | (#39655815)

Right. Because the USA singlehandedly defeated the Nazis (Russia? Who the fuck is Russia?), and currently is not just a force, but a the only force that keeps Nazism from rearing its ugly head again. That's literally what keeps Germany from going on conquest again, fear of the USA, otherwise it would be all over it. Also the USA is building memorials all over Germany, makes sure history gets teached, and even bit the bullet and ordered Germans to ban swastikas, while shedding a tear because free speech and all that.

That's not reality, that's a most what you wish reality to be: if "you"'re "the lesser evil", you can get away with so much more. That's the whole two-bit psychology behind such herpa derpa. You're literally resting on something that might as well have happened 500 years ago. It's that relevant, and that idiotic.

America was quite late to the party of WW2, and if Hitler hadn't done such insane maneuvers, who knows what could have happened. Why not be glad it didn't turn out worse? Why mistakenly take the sole credit, which is like peeing on millions and millions of dead people, and brag? How fucked up is that? What's there to gloat? It's sickening, and I guess deep down inside you do know just how badly you're being lied to and used by your dear leaders, in leadership country number one, America, which is not fascist at all, ever.

Dumb fucks.

Re:It's a fact (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39655875)

What do Nazis have to do with anything? Deutschland existed before the Nazis and still exists to this day.

Re:It's a fact (3, Insightful)

smpoole7 (1467717) | about 2 years ago | (#39655993)

> Because the USA singlehandedly defeated the Nazis ...

I don't know of very many American historians who believe that we "singlehandedly" defeated the Nazis. But if we hadn't joined WW2, the outcome would very likely have been very different. Not just because of the American military, but because of American *production*. We built (and provided to our allies -- including Russia) megatons of critical supplies.

FWIW, I've never seen an alternate history of WW2 that had a good outcome when America didn't get involved. I realize that's not scientific and it's anything but conclusive, but Turtledove and others have done a ton of research -- including the perusal of military histories and what our allies themselves were saying before America became involved. The UK, for example, would now be a Nazi satellite and its Jews would have been eliminated.

> America was quite late to the party of WW2 ...

I believe you're thinking of WWI. Your argument, while still flawed and simplistic, might have held more weight there. But "WWII" didn't truly become a *world war* until the late 1930s. Plus, we were already providing assistance to UK before we became directly involved -- assistance that Churchill and other leaders publicly stated made all the difference to staying alive until we DID get involved.

Besides, you completely ignore the Pacific theater. Sorry, I know you hate America, and we can debate the details all day long, but virtually every military historian I've ever read does believe that yes, we did in fact make a HUGE difference there.

Hatred of America is understandable. (Being an American, it puzzles me, but that's for another argument. I've never claimed we were perfect -- anything but -- but people like you ignore the good that we do for foreign nations, such as provide aid after a natural disaster, because that doesn't fit in with YOUR preconceptions about how "evil" we are.) But deliberately editing history to feed your hatred is just silly.

And yes, I'm an American, so you may now feel free to dismiss me solely on that basis. Won't change how I feel, though. :)

Re:It's a fact (5, Interesting)

smpoole7 (1467717) | about 2 years ago | (#39656121)

OH, and as for the Russians (or if you're going to be historically accurate, the "Soviets" -- i.e., the Soviet Union): yeah, their military bounced back and probably could have defeated the Nazis by themselves . .. .

IF they had the food. After perestroika and glasnost, a number of former Soviet leaders came forward to publicly state that American supplies during WWII, especially food, made a huge difference. Remember, the Nazis had overrun and had occupied most of "Russia's" food basket. They were starving. That's why, as soon as the USA became involved, Stalin requested two things: (1), that the USA and UK open a second front against Germany ASAP to help take the pressure off of them, and (2), FOOD. Lots and lots of food. Tons of food.

Which we supplied.

This really is off-topic; we were discussing an American judge issuing an injunction in advance of a German court's decision -- but I was specifically addressing the historical inaccuracies in your post. Now I'm off to work.

Re:It's a fact (1)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | about 2 years ago | (#39656137)

We 'hate' the USA mainly because of your government, and partly because of your more vocal (and mad sounding) media types, it is difficult to see the picture we get of the USA's foreign policy from within the US, in that same way that I suspect I have a very biased picture of the UK's foreign relations

The people are an entirely different matter, the majority I have met have been lovely people (with the usual small number of exceptions)

Don't worry it is the same the world over, and has very little to do with the US people....

I agree that it was mainly the USA's arms and materiel production that tipped the balance in both wars especially WWII....

Re:It's a fact (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39655503)

It's gleaned, not gleamed. Now who's the idiot?

Re:It's a fact (0)

Johann Lau (1040920) | about 2 years ago | (#39655857)

If a typo/mistake makes one an idiot in your books, I'm an idiot in your books. I'm fine with that. Also, false dichotomy, which... makes you quite the idiot, too ^^

Re:It's a fact (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39655961)

You are for pointing out such a stupid typo.

Re:It's a fact (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39656095)

Without the United States of America, Germany will be known as "Deutschland"

For some idiots knowing a bit or two of other languages this holds true today as well. If you were to say something smart you should have said something related to the Berlin wall and its fall. But that's too much history for 200 years old chums.

Re:Eh? (5, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | about 2 years ago | (#39655425)

I tend to think that if Motorola does something in Germany, they will pay the consequences here in the US. Of course the US judge doesn't expect his ruling to have any effect on what happens in Germany. This is the US seeking to control what plaintiffs do in other countries.

Is this an example of the US over-reaching? Oh yeah. But this is about trying to get Motorola, a company with presence in the US, to behave in a fashion which suits the interests of the businesses in the US... or at least the ones who have been contributing the most to government election campaigns.

Things are getting more heated and more dirty. Also, very, very interesting.

Re:Eh? (5, Insightful)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 2 years ago | (#39655669)

The judge has definitely overstepped the mark here, in my opinion.

Motorola is seeking a limitation in another jurisdiction, under different rules, not the local jurisdiction under the local rules.

By seeking to prevent Motorola from partaking in legal action in another jurisdiction, the judge has certainly limited Motorolas freedom to operate.

Re:Eh? (4, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | about 2 years ago | (#39655713)

And that is definitely an issue for an appeals court or the supreme court to rule on. But how far does that go? After all, companies and individuals are routinely held to account for operating within the unspoken rules of business in China which is all about bribes and corruption being built right into the culture and expectations of all involved.

So it's not a question of practice, but where the line should be drawn isn't it?

Re:Eh? (5, Insightful)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 2 years ago | (#39655795)

The line should be drawn at illegal practices, in my opinion - however, this particular case has nothing to do with illegal practices.

Motorola are doing something completely legal in both the US and Germany, they are just doing it in German jurisdiction. The US Judge is threatening Motorola in US jurisdiction for something that isn't illegal in either place.

The US Judge is trying to trump the authority of the German judge in his own jurisdiction. Thats overstepping the mark.

Re:Eh? (4, Interesting)

pugugly (152978) | about 2 years ago | (#39655933)

My reading of this is that the German lawsuit was filed after the U.S. lawsuit, expressly because Motorola didn't particularly like the way the U.S. Lawsuit was going, aka Motorola was Forum Shopping after the fact and hoping to use that result to pressure Microsoft to give in the original case.

Practically I don't see that the U.S. Court had any choice but to slap them down hard to discourage that as a tactic. Don't like how your case is going here? Sue in France!

Pug

Re:Eh? (2)

Kjella (173770) | about 2 years ago | (#39656147)

There's no court that has jurisdiction of the world. Yes, if we're in an US court we could negotiate a worldwide license to end the legal problem here and in every other jurisdiction, but if we don't reach an agreement then I would think US courts decide for the US, German courts decide for Germany and every other country for itself. I wouldn't be surprised if Motorola could sue in German court over damages caused by the US court by interfering with the German court. The lawyers are going to win, that's for sure.

Re:Eh? (5, Insightful)

chrb (1083577) | about 2 years ago | (#39656171)

Don't like how your case is going here? Sue in France!

Which is absolutely fine, as any rulings of the French trade courts will only apply in France, not the United States. Contrary to what Microsoft claim, they doesn't need to license any E.U. patents for territories outside of the E.U. - the jurisdiction of E.U. patents ends at the E.U. borders.

Would you be happy if the E.U. courts began to make judgements against Microsoft etc., and expressly said that the jurisdiction of those judgements wasn't just within the E.U., but also covered the U.S.? It is a blatant attempt to extend the jurisdictional territory of national patents onto other nations, which is certainly not allowed under the existing patent treaties. What if Chinese courts decide that they have the jurisdiction to rule on U.S. patent cases?

Re:Eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39655863)

And that is definitely an issue for an appeals court or the supreme court to rule on.

Wouldn't this fall under the WTO? Even if the WTO does not deal with crap like this the US and EU/EFTA are apparently finally getting real about the Trans Atlantic Free Trade Area [wikipedia.org] because they are both scared shitless of the Chinese so if TAFTA becomes a reality the US/EU/EFTA have to solve jurisdictional quandaries like this one.

Re:Eh? (1)

chrb (1083577) | about 2 years ago | (#39656065)

After all, companies and individuals are routinely held to account for operating within the unspoken rules of business in China which is all about bribes and corruption

That is a different thing - bribery of foreign officials is explicitly illegal under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Eh? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39655927)

>The judge has definitely overstepped the mark here, in my opinion.

Germany uses the Euro these days.

Re:Eh? (1, Interesting)

stiggle (649614) | about 2 years ago | (#39655869)

It's not a case of protecting a US company. It's the judge protecting his court, as a similar case is due in front of him there next month.
So the US judge would rather not have a German court decide on the issue before he gets his chance to as preserving US court power is more important than abiding by international law.

But to add a twist - Motorola is now under investigation by the EU over 'standards-based patents' following complaints by Apple & Microsoft.
http://www.gfmag.com/latestnews/latest-news-old.html?newsid=1.3276332E7 [gfmag.com]

Re:Eh? (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 2 years ago | (#39656093)

That's because our cartels frankly own the US gov and sadly are buying more govs overseas as well. No need to worry about that pesky "will of the people thing" if you just buy off whomever wins.

BTW does this mean we can FINALLY put that whole "do no evil" thing right next to "think different" and whatever lame ass slogan MSFT has which i can't even think of? I mean Google DID buy out Motorola, correct? that was allowed to happen right? which would mean we now have all three major players trolling with patents, Apple, Google AND MSFT which means any damned way you go you are getting screwed.

Oh and on a final note allow me to say a big fat "I told you so!" because i did, I told you so. I said everybody better be nice and put up with Flash while we got together and told Apple and MSFT to stick it with H.264 and not to support HTML V5 until they made a free codec as the baseline, be it Theora or WebM. I warned you that if you thought Flash was a bad thing you hadn't seen nothing because H.264 was patent hell and now look.

Mark my words if the big three have their way its gonna be RMV and WMV all over again. I don't care if H.26x is so damned beautiful a format technically it shits rainbows there are literally thousands of patents making H.264 a clusterfuck of epic scale and according to the Wiki the earliest it'll leave the minefield is 2027 which of course long before then we'll have H.265 and we'll be screwed again.

MPG 2 is about to expire soon isn't it? maybe we should tell the big 3 to piss off and just use MPG 2. After all it'll play on anything, you can get a good picture with it and i bet with a little work it can be made even better. This is one case where as shocking as it may be I'm with RMS, you don't want the web media locked behind a shitload of patents mucking things up.

Re:Eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39656115)

As far As Australians are concerned, America has complete jurisdiction here. Our PM, Gillard, is a US lapdog. Maybe Merkel is the same?

Mind you, in 18 months, Gillard will be sent packing with a historic defeat. Maybe this lapdog thing is not such a good idea.

Re:Eh? (0)

YankDownUnder (872956) | about 2 years ago | (#39655275)

OMG - you haven't heard? Wow - the US can do ANYTHING ANYWHERE - whether for their own nefarious whimsies, or to protect BIG BUSINESS - c'mon - what's more important to the US government than that? (They've forgotten about "The People" and "Other Countries" long ago, mate)

Re:Eh? (3, Interesting)

MDillenbeck (1739920) | about 2 years ago | (#39655747)

Since I am seeing this same reaction in several threads, I'll do the legwork and post it in each one... From the source article:

The U.S. court should be the one to rule on that issue, Microsoft argued, because Microsoft filed its lawsuit against Motorola over the terms of a licensing deal before Motorola filed its suit in Germany.

However, I do agree - in no way should the US be able to dictate to another country their legal system beyond the standard actions of imposing sanctions and/or embargoes. After all, I don't think anyone would say a state that violates human rights (for example, only certain types of citizens are legally defined as human and the rest are 'livestock' or 'property') should be allowed to operate without consequence. This means petty reasons could be used as justification, for to deny a country a right to apply an embargo or sanction would also be a violation of a state's sovereign rights.

Re:Eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39655277)

Because the us judge can't find Germany on the map and knows his history from American war movies (we won goddammit). On the other hand the us still have a miltary presence in Germany so he may have a point.

Re:Eh? (2)

MDillenbeck (1739920) | about 2 years ago | (#39655759)

Since I am seeing this same reaction in several threads, I'll do the legwork and post it in each one... From the source article:

The U.S. court should be the one to rule on that issue, Microsoft argued, because Microsoft filed its lawsuit against Motorola over the terms of a licensing deal before Motorola filed its suit in Germany.

Again, I disagree with this viewpoint - it is just an explanation of why they are trying to override German sovereignty

Re:Eh? (2)

DarkOx (621550) | about 2 years ago | (#39655281)

Possibly because these are US companies and we have trade agreements.

Re:Eh? (2)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | about 2 years ago | (#39655457)

Hopefully this sets a precedent and I say to the judge, thank you.

International patent agreements are one thing but they should be decided upon within the legal systems of the head office of various corporations or in the country the patent was first filed.

Instead we have patent wars by international proxy, tieing up the various legal systems around the world be it, say, Motorola vs MS in Germany or Apple vs Samsung in Australia.

Re:Eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39655557)

International patent agreements are one thing but they should be decided upon within the legal systems of the head office of various corporations or in the country the patent was first filed.

That's ridiculous; it would lead directly to situations where a German company couldn't sell products in Germany but a US company could (or any other combination, reverse Germany and US here if that illustrates the point better for you - German companies would be judged by German law so they could sell things in the US that US companies couldn't - what on earth would be the reason for to adopt such a measure?)

Re:Eh? (3, Interesting)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | about 2 years ago | (#39655639)

What the judge has basically said is sort your shit out in your own country (US) and don't waste the German court's time. Settle the patent dispute in your own country first and negotiate global licensing based on sales per unit in each country.

Currently we have an abuse a dozen or so tech mega-corporations trying out patent-sharing agreements in each country they do business. Extortion failed in 1 country? We'll try it out in the other 195-odd countries throughout the world and we'll find a sympathetic judge.

This isn't about the sovereignty of the German nation, it's international corporations misusing the courts around the world. My point was, US companies suing each other based on US patents and a tit-for-tat dispute in foreign courts.

Re:Eh? (1)

anomaly256 (1243020) | about 2 years ago | (#39655307)

IANAL either, but I think it's not that the US is making German policy, but more the US is saying a large economy-supporting US company that the government itself directly depends upon isn't allowed to hurt another large economy-supporting US company that the government itself directly depends upon. Motorola makes the radios the gov uses outside of the cellular network in many departments from national security to space exploration. Microsoft makes the software that most of the government computers run on.

Or of course it could just be that USA consider themselves world police.

Re:Eh? (1)

1s44c (552956) | about 2 years ago | (#39656047)

Or of course it could just be that USA consider themselves world police.

That seems more likely.

Re:Eh? (5, Insightful)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | about 2 years ago | (#39655311)

After reading the article, it seems the US court is ordering Motorola not to use the German legal system to block sales of Windows in Germany. So if Motorola were to do it anyway, I guess German customs would still enforce the injunction, but Motorola mangement in the US would risk punishment.

Re:Eh? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39655379)

So if Motorola were to do it anyway, I guess German customs would still enforce the injunction, but Motorola mangement in the US would risk punishment.

I'm just curious, as to what law Motorola would have broken by pursuing legal action in another country against another US company, that would allow for its management to be punished? And what punishment would that be?
I mean, I didn't even think laws that can punish management existed at all in the US.

Re:Eh? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39655411)

Brannigans Law.

Re:Eh? (1)

erroneus (253617) | about 2 years ago | (#39655447)

Off the top of my head, contempt of court. A US court is ordering a US company not to persue another US company in a court in another nation.

Now, whether or not the ruling of the court is appropriate is a matter for the court of appeals.

Re:Eh? (2)

nschubach (922175) | about 2 years ago | (#39656119)

But what if these are for German Patents?

The judge also pointed out that Motorola's offer included both U.S. and international patents.

Would you want the validity of US patents to be handled by Chinese courts?

Divide and Conquer (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39655329)

They should issue the injunction anyway, then Motorola should get the ruling in the US overturned, then they should go against Microsoft for damages for the delayed injunction in Germany.

Microsoft, of course, wants far far more per handset in patent licenses for patents it won't even list in open documents they're so weak. So its a little rich to complain about the license fee Motorola wants from them for H264.

So this is very typically Microsoft, it cannot win the case in Germany apparently, so it stirs up anti-German sentiment in the USA and tries to divide the US and Germany to its own advantage. Nasty, very nasty.

Re:Divide and Conquer (5, Funny)

dougisfunny (1200171) | about 2 years ago | (#39655433)

Or they can get an injunction granted in Germany preventing the injunction granted in the USA from preventing the injunction granted in Germany.

Re:Divide and Conquer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39655485)

If the German government doesn't block this then a bunch of suicide bankers will cause another eurocrisis by betting against sovereign governments using money borrowed at historic low interest rates and underwritten by the American tax payer which matters because they're unlikely to be able to pay it back, but they can use a small fraction of that owed in order to bribe their way to freedom. Meanwhile the German people cry foul at government interference in their legal system for political reasons. Totally blind are they to the huge gun pointed at their head as such a gun is completely ludicrous, to believe that people behave in the world in that way in this day and age is unthinkable. Or at least that would make for an interesting book, film or computer game.

Re:Eh? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39655333)

IANAL, but I assume the US judge forgot to look on his map.
Anyway what I don't get is that Motorola is somehow expected to prevent Microsoft from selling things in Germany by enforcing it themselves? Shouldn't the US judge have said something in the sense of, the German police can't enforce this?
And even then, ..
eh!??!!?

Re:Eh? (4, Informative)

DarkDust (239124) | about 2 years ago | (#39655445)

In Germany, if the court grants you an injunction it is not automatically enforced immediately. The winning party needs to explicitly enforce it.

Now a US court decided that the company Motorola may not enforce this injunction should it win it, since there are ongoing actions that have not been decided (like, whether the patent in question is actually invalid). So if Motorola were to enforce this injunction it would have an unfair disadvantage.

So the US court has not interfered with German courts: it only ruled what the company Motorola may do should it win this battle in Germany.

Re:Eh? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39655681)

In Germany, if the court grants you an injunction it is not automatically enforced immediately. The winning party needs to explicitly enforce it.

Now a US court decided that the company Motorola may not enforce this injunction should it win it, since there are ongoing actions that have not been decided (like, whether the patent in question is actually invalid). So if Motorola were to enforce this injunction it would have an unfair disadvantage.

So the US court has not interfered with German courts: it only ruled what the company Motorola may do should it win this battle in Germany.

So a German court could give Motorola the right to enforce the injunction, but said right should Motorola win will be inhibited by a US court. How the hell is this not interfering with the German decision ?
God damn the US, if only we could blast that shit country into deep space.

Reasons why they can restrict the injunction (2)

vyvepe (809573) | about 2 years ago | (#39655455)

The US case started before DE case.

Motorlola proposed worldwide 2.25% license fee at the US court (which MS refused ... obviously).

I do not think these are valid. Each country has different laws. There cannot be a common resolution of a dispute pressed by one court over the whole word. In the worst case, (when companies do not come to agreement) they will sue each other in every jurisdiction separately. I think that is OK.

Re:Reasons why they can restrict the injunction (3, Informative)

rmstar (114746) | about 2 years ago | (#39655957)

Another funny thing is that Microsoft [win7vista.com] fled from Germany for the Netherlands fearing patent issues related to Motorola. This is raising quite a few eyebrows over in the EU already.

The article explains it (4, Insightful)

MDillenbeck (1739920) | about 2 years ago | (#39655699)

IANAL, so can someone explain to me why a US court thinks it has any effect in Germany? Or is this some kind of 'threat'/'international business' thing that has some legal basis for multinational companies?

From the source article:

The U.S. court should be the one to rule on that issue, Microsoft argued, because Microsoft filed its lawsuit against Motorola over the terms of a licensing deal before Motorola filed its suit in Germany.

So, basically, they are arguing they have jurisdiction because the dispute originated in the US - and it sounds like the US justice system feels that the Motorola suit was more retaliation against Microsoft for bringing up the case than a preplanned and poorly timed execution.

Personally, however, I believe the US would never tolerate another country making the same claim. Instead, the US would claim sovereign rights and not bow to any court, national or international (yes, the US has refused to recognize the proceedings of the International Criminal Court - showing how much it believes in having other powers meddle in its governance). Thus the US should respect the sovereignty of other nations to manage their own legal proceedings since we have no jurisdiction over Germany.

Re:Eh? (1)

JTL21 (190706) | about 2 years ago | (#39655893)

I'm British and in general believe that the US does over reach it's legal jurisdiction (particularly in criminal law) but in this case there seem to be quite good reasons.

1) This is really about the commitment given by Motorola to a standards body to offer these patents on FRAND terms. If the standards body uses US law then it should be a US decision about how Motorola upholds the agreement. Even if not Motorola and Microsoft are both US companies, why should German law decide on the worldwide licensing terms for patents.
2) The initial lawsuit was filed in the US (by Microsoft) and it was Motorola going to Germany where the case is moving faster and the patent holders have more power that is in a way trying to circumvent the US court.
3) The German court doesn't immediately grant the injuction, Motorola would have to make an additional request and put up a bond (payable to Microsoft if Motorola lose the case in the end) and it is this that the US court has instructed Motorola not to do.

As an aside the European Commission is looking at Samsung and Motorola to see if their use of standards essential patents is anti-competitive (particularly with regard to their use in Germany).

The reason that competition law is relevant is that when setting standards great care is needed to avoid it being an illegal trust. One of the parts of this is for FRAND or RAND licensing of patents to be promised by those taking part in the standardisation.

Jurisdiction? (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39655255)

Oh right, forgot about that.

Re:Jurisdiction? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39655289)

America...
America...
America, FUCK YEAH!
Coming again, to save the mother fucking day yeah,
America, FUCK YEAH!
Lawsuits are the only way yeah,
Germany your game is through cause now you have to answer too,
America, FUCK YEAH!
So lick my butt, and suck on my balls,
America, FUCK YEAH!
What you going to do when we come for you now,
it's the dream that we all share; it's the hope for tomorrow

Re:Jurisdiction? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 2 years ago | (#39655779)

He writes long suits and he's coming to sue you
Degree on his wall and I can assure you
There ain't no court where a lawyer can enjoy his ruling in Deutschland.

Now he's quick with an injunction and he's fast on the standards and in America he is the law
He don't know a word of jurisdiction, everybodys safe when Microsoft's near.

Put a case on him now, in front of the court, showing us where the patents are
There's one thing you must understand, Microsofts the law in Deutschland.

He was part of a firm, he could do it
As hard as a rock was Microsoft
To say the things that they have done, made them firm number one.

I read the article... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39655259)

... but I'm not a lawyer or law student in any way, so I couldn't be sure of the implications.

Microsoft's complaints do sound reasonable enough, so I don't know what to think.

Re:I read the article... (2)

Raved Thrad (1864414) | about 2 years ago | (#39655843)

I'm sitting here, stunned, at having read the words "Microsoft" and "reasonable" in the same sentence.

Misleading summary translated (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39655295)

The Judge ruled that: Motorola shall not enforce an injunction in Germany.

The Judge did not rule that: a German court can't enforce an injunction in Germany.

Jurisdictions remain intact.

Re:Misleading summary translated (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 2 years ago | (#39655349)

The Judge ruled that: Motorola shall not enforce an injunction in Germany.

The Judge did not

Question:

When was the last time a private entity given the right to enforce a legal injunction?

Re:Misleading summary translated (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39655601)

>When was the last time a private entity given the right to enforce a legal injunction?

I only corrected the summary... Not the article... :)

Re:Misleading summary translated (1)

gweihir (88907) | about 2 years ago | (#39656057)

Ah, I see. As private companies are not allowed to enforce anything anyways in Germany, this has no effect. The way it works is that the private company has to ask the police and/or customs to enforce the injunction. Anything else would land them in legal hot water, up to and including the ones trying to "enforce" things landing in prison.

motorola enforce? stupid judge just wants easy mon (2)

gl4ss (559668) | about 2 years ago | (#39655331)

if the court judgement comes, would motorola need to enforce it? wouldn't it be the court that enforces it.

but the us judge made this decision just because if he didn't, he would have been unnecessary and would have to judge some real cases that matter but where there isn't as much money involved.

Re:motorola enforce? stupid judge just wants easy (2)

pegdhcp (1158827) | about 2 years ago | (#39655435)

IANAL: Here (in Turkey) a private entity can neglect to follow required procedures to complete the ruling that grant some king of benefit to them, by not filing the ruling with proper authorities, if the case is a civil law case. For example after a divorce to keep track of alimony payments is the responsibility of receiving party. But this is applicable only to civil cases related to real people.

AFAIK USA is the only country that treats companies as real people. In Turkey and again AFAIK our regulations are compatible with EU rules, if a company neglects to follow up such a rule, responsible managers of said company will face charges of criminal misconduct due to, either neglecting duty for protecting shareholders, or even tax evasion, as such lack of activity would cause a loss to the company hence loss of taxes of government, depending on the mood of prosecutors at the day they were given the file...

Re:motorola enforce? stupid judge just wants easy (1)

gweihir (88907) | about 2 years ago | (#39656067)

Actually, the court cannot enforce anything. It can order the police and/or customs to enforce things, but that is it. Courts have very little direct power in Germany.

LOL (2, Interesting)

WindBourne (631190) | about 2 years ago | (#39655391)

America just dropped further on the anti-corruption list. Looks like another judge has been bought by MS. As I recall earlier, a fool was gripping that MS is unfairly singled out by media. Yet, here is MS getting an American judge to prevent Motorola from exercising their legal rights in Germany. Sick and Twisted that judges can be bought so easily.

RootStrikers.org

Re:LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39656155)

Yeah, how dare Microsoft file their suit in the U.S. first, and when it wasn't going Motorola's way, they dared to object to being sued themselves in another country's court. I mean, the corruption just oozes out of the way that they followed the law, only to have Motorola run an end-around out to another country. Crazy, I know, but thank God we have people like you, who can eloquently summarize the entire story that you couldn't even be bothered to read. Facts are for the weak, stay strong in your ignorance my brother! Your opinions can make it true!

Woah Woah Woah Woah.... (1)

Irick (1842362) | about 2 years ago | (#39655441)

I... AGREE?! I never thought i'd ever have to defend Microsoft, but uh... Motorola is being stupid with its patents. Not that Microsoft isn't guilty of the same stuff, but uh.. yeah. Not sure about the judicial system over here trying to influence the outcomes of others though. I mean, while i can again agree that Motorola should not be allowed to use an injunction like that, i think we should have full faith in the ability of other countries to um... govern themselves.

H.264 ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39655443)

I haven't rtfa but since software patents is illegal in europe I can't understand how motorola can prevent microsoft selling stuff in germany based on it use of H.264 ?

Re:H.264 ? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39655725)

software patents aren't illegal in Europe. It's a bit more complicated, but MPEG-LA lists a lot of German patents.

Re:H.264 ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39655827)

"If IBM comes and tells me 'you infringe that software patent of mine', I'll tell them 'sue me'. If they do sue me, the court will not take into account the EPO decisions like the one above, because EPO decisions have to do with EPO policy and have no legal power. The court judges using the EPC only, and no sane court will possibly make such a far-fetched interpretation of the EPC as the EPO has done. This means that all software patents granted by the EPO are illegal, they cannot stand in court, and everyone knows this. We know, the EPO knows, and large software companies also know. Therefore, what they did was that they attempted to change the EPC in 2000, but they failed due to unexpected public resistance" ?

Motorola's reponse (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39655459)

Right then, WE'RE going to get a Chinese injunction banning Microsoft from enforcing the injunction in the US against Motorola enforcing the injunction in Germany.

Better article (-1, Flamebait)

DarkDust (239124) | about 2 years ago | (#39655467)

The law-blogger Florian Müller has a more in-depth explanation of this issue [fosspatents.com]. He especially explains how this is not an US court interfering with a German court's decision. The US court merely prevents Motorola from enforcing the injunction, should it win it.

Re:Better article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39655585)

So, instead, this is a US court interfering with the actions of a company in another country. Is there precedent for this? Halliburton? Blackwater? Dow Chemical? I guess the differences that in these cases, the victims weren't USian.

Re:Better article (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39655689)

You do know that Florian Muller is on Microsoft's payroll. Are you as well?

Re:Better article (1)

wellwellwelloh (2037802) | about 2 years ago | (#39655929)

Suppose the judge orders Motorola to enforce the injunction? Florian Müller explanation isn't even credible, the US order directly interferes with the German court.

This is ABSURD (1)

bickerdyke (670000) | about 2 years ago | (#39655529)

This is absurd!

It starts with a case where someone is sued to using patents that HAVE to be used when you want to implement a standard accordingt to that very standard.

It continues with an US court activly trying to force a company into disrespect of legitimate court verdicts.

And it turns into hybris when that court wants their findings to be respected outside the boundaries of the US.

Re:This is ABSURD (1)

MDillenbeck (1739920) | about 2 years ago | (#39655767)

Since I am seeing this same reaction in several threads, I'll do the legwork and post it in each one... From the source article:

The U.S. court should be the one to rule on that issue, Microsoft argued, because Microsoft filed its lawsuit against Motorola over the terms of a licensing deal before Motorola filed its suit in Germany.

I agree with you, Germany is a sovereign country - the US should restrict its recourse to "we will engage in sanctions if you do this", not "our courts find you must do this".

Re:This is ABSURD (1)

bickerdyke (670000) | about 2 years ago | (#39655943)

Since I am seeing this same reaction in several threads, I'll do the legwork and post it in each one... From the source article:

The U.S. court should be the one to rule on that issue, Microsoft argued, because Microsoft filed its lawsuit against Motorola over the terms of a licensing deal before Motorola filed its suit in Germany.

Now we have two courts, in diferent legislations, ruling in the same case? Absurdity++

I agree with you, Germany is a sovereign country - the US should restrict its recourse to "we will engage in sanctions if you do this", not "our courts find you must do this".

A company needs to respect the laws of the country it has business in. This should be a basic rule, as that is what both US and Germany are expecting when a company from anywhere in the world starts business there.

Re:This is ABSURD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39656071)

Now we have two courts, in diferent legislations, ruling in the same case? Absurdity++

Not necessarily. The decisions of a german court only affect business in germany, and the decision of a US court should only affect business in the US. If both jurisdictions rule differently, then one possible outcome could be that MS needs to pay license fees for sales in germany, but not for sales in US.

This has happened before.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39655595)

Remember the injunction against takeover sale of Liverpool FC 19 months ago [bbc.co.uk] after Tom Hicks lost his High Court case in the UK (which incidentally was lifted the next day)? This is yet another example of US granting injunctions in a blatant attempt to subvert other countries' rule of law.

Re:This has happened before.... (1)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | about 2 years ago | (#39655679)

Now that is a more interesting case than Motorola vs. Microsoft, because in this case, the injunction was against people and companies outside the US.

And it seems that the injunction did not stop the sale for long:
The news about the injunction was from 13 Oct 2010, two days later there were news about the sale being complete: http://www.liverpoolfc.tv/news/liverpool-fc-sold-to-nesv [liverpoolfc.tv]

One Wonders... (1)

StarWreck (695075) | about 2 years ago | (#39655605)

One wonders why a USA based company would go all the way over to Germany to sue another USA based company....

Re:One Wonders... (1)

MDillenbeck (1739920) | about 2 years ago | (#39655825)

I think companies go to other countries to sue because they multinational forces now. Motorola isn't just in the US with branch offices in other countries; instead, like most corporate entities, they have full legal recognition in many nations. The same applies to Microsoft. The same applies to Apple. To quote Pink Floyd's The Dogs of War: "One world, it's a battleground" - you kick your global opponents where ever you can.

Re:One Wonders... (1)

nschubach (922175) | about 2 years ago | (#39656165)

German Patents...

The judge also pointed out that Motorola's offer included both U.S. and international patents.

Would you want the validity of US patents to be handled by Chinese courts?

Got no justification over Europe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39655687)

Typical BS response from a typical BS US judge as usual.

Let's see... (1)

blue_goddess (1416183) | about 2 years ago | (#39655715)

What would happen when Motorola went to German court and obtained similar order on Microsoft, not to enforce order from TFA?

Re:Let's see... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39655775)

That's silly, they wouldn't get a German court order, they'd get a French court order, then MS would get an Italian court order, then Motorola would get a Spanish court order...

German court holds US court in contempt of court (1)

wellwellwelloh (2037802) | about 2 years ago | (#39655871)

I can't wait to see it, I can't wait to see a seething German judge issuing an arrest warrant for US judge in contempt. Alternatively, and somewhat less hilariously, the German judge might just pass the order banning the sale of Windows phones (I believe) and order the authorities to enforce it, leaving Motorola with clean hands in the US court.

Team America: World Police (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39655995)

So does that make Matt and Trey prophetic? http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0372588/

And why do they think the Germans care? (1)

gweihir (88907) | about 2 years ago | (#39656041)

It is quite simple: If somebody tries to sell these things, they will get impounded and there may be fines for the ones selling them. U.S. law? The Germans could not care less.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...