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Patents Drive Motorola Mobility Out of Germany

The Google subsidiary is down to zero tablets and three smartphones – the Razr i, Razr MHD and the Gleam

Patent victories by Microsoft and Apple have stripped Motorola Mobility of products it can legally sell in Germany, Europe's biggest market where Android is popular.

The Google subsidiary is down to zero tablets and three smartphones - the Razr i, Razr MHD and the Gleam.

Everything else has been enjoined and can't come back until Motorola works around the patents it's been treading on. Motorola thought that would be by mid-summer. It is now reasonably well into October and it's apparent the fixes have proven illusive.

And it's Motorola's own fault. It challenged both Microsoft and Apple in Germany where it's relatively easy to get an injunction and where courts tolerate standards-essential claims. But the "first mover" legal strategy boomeranged. It was Motorola that got enjoined in a series of suits.

FOSS Patents quips that "the company that Google bought for $12.5 billion to protect Android from patent threats cannot even protect itself."

The blog thinks that "Google engineers probably have to spend a significant part of their time now on workarounds. And in some cases, workarounds would result in incompatibilities with many (or even all) existing Android apps. In order to keep selling in Germany, where patent enforcement is fast and furious, Motorola Mobility would probably have to ask third-party Android app developers to create special German versions of their apps to avoid the infringements that the courts in Munich (five injunctions) and Mannheim (one injunction) decided to end."

Apple and Microsoft are blithely selling all of their products in Germany.

See www.fosspatents.com/2012/10/googles-motorola-mobility-pulls-most.html.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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