After last week’s announcement of a licensing agreement with Foxconn, Microsoft’s Horacio Gutierez, Corporate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel of the Intellectual Property Group, announced the next deal in a blog.
According to this, the Chinese smartphone manufacturer ZTE, joins the ranks of companies who have entered into a licensing agreement with Microsoft with regards to Android and Chrome OS. Microsoft obviously is proud about the step and expresses that they hope to sign similar agreements with the remaining companies who according to their view continue to violate their intellectual property.
It seems that Microsoft is intent on tightening the grip in the ongoing legal battles with Motorola and by extension Google. It is one of the last remaining Android vendors who have not entered into a licensing agreement with Microsoft. Today an injunction Microsoft won in Germany was upheld by the Oberlandesgericht München (Munich Higher Regional Court). In this specific case a patent describing a method to process multi-part text messages was violated by Motorola.
According to Florian Müller who observes those patent litigation cases for a while now, the court denied further appeals, which only leaves an appeal to the decision to not allow an appeal. In the blog FOSS Patents he reports in detail about this and other related cases. It is known that he is being paid by Oracle among other companies for consulting over patent matters and is considered to be biased against Google by some people.
Germany has become the country of choice for such cases in Europe (PDF). The reason for this is that a company can get an infringement action within one year of filing a case in the first instance. It will take considerably longer for Germany’s Federal Patent Court to make validity decisions, thus giving litigious companies an advantage should they be successful getting an infringement action based on a questionable patent.