|By Maureen O'Gara||
|September 22, 2012 10:00 AM EDT||
Android took it on the chin Thursday when a German court said it infringed a Microsoft patent on a soft input panel system and method in a case against Google satellite Motorola Mobility.
Microsoft has made a similar claim in the US.
FOSS Patents, which reckons Google has suffered a "strategically very important defeat" with the loss, explains that "The patent covers a software architecture that allows applications to flexibly receive input from sources between the user may switch, such as an on-screen keyboard and voice input, without requiring the app itself to worry about the underlying functionality that provides this level of abstraction. Out of the hundreds of thousands of Android apps that exist, many if not most make use of the related operating system functionality."
Since this is way harder to work around than the kinds of patents Apple's been using, Motorola may either have to temporarily decamp from Germany while it makes changes or pay Microsoft for a royalty-bearing license to patent portfolio like all the other major Android hawkers.
It's the fourth patent Microsoft has been able to enforce against Googlerola and applies to all products that infringe.
Google is expected to appeal and seek a stay of the injunction, but is unlikely to get it. It would be unusual in Germany.
Microsoft is expected to post a €75 million bond to get the injunction.