The Mannheim Regional Court in Germany has just ruled that a patent claim by Motorola, Google’s subsidiary, was invalid due to a contractual obligation arising from an ActiveSync deal between Google and Microsoft.
The deal, which presumably allowed Google to use ActiveSync with Gmail, also granted Microsoft a licence to Google (and therefore Motorola’s) applicable patents.
Fosspatents notes that this is not the first time Google has forgotten about their grant-back obligations, most recently again when they attacked Microsoft regarding their MP4 usage on the Xbox 360.
Microsoft could be hit with infringement claims for the period before Google purchased Motorola, but both Microsoft and Apple are pursuing invalidation claims regarding the patent, which is for "multiple pager status synchronization system and method" on the grounds that the push technology described was already well described as part of the IMAP standard in 1994, an argument which has already been accepted by courts in UK.
The win comes at the back of Microsoft announcing successfully adding FoxConn to their list of Android licensees, meaning while Google’s £12.5 billion purchase of Motorola is still to buy them anything but losses, Microsoft is currently reaping license payments from more than 50% of Android OEMs in the market.
Read much more detail at Fosspatents here.