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Judge Dr. Matthias Zigann of the Munich I Regional Court just told Google and its Motorola Mobility subsidiary in no uncertain terms that his court is at this point (prior to counsel's argument on claim construction, infringement and validity) inclined to hold Google Inc., its subsidiary Motorola Mobility LLC and MMI's German subsidiary liable for infringement of a key Microsoft patent, EP0845124 on a "computer system for identifying local resources and method therefor", which is the European equivalent of U.S. Patent No. 6,240,360.Google Facing The Prospect Of a Ban On Google Maps In Germany [fosspatents.com]
A decision will likely come down in approximately two months. Google may now realize that its Motorola Mobility subsidiary needs to take a royalty-bearing patent license from Microsoft as virtually the whole Android ecosystem already has. Samsung, HTC, LG and many other Android device makers have already recognized the fact that Android incorporates technology patented by Microsoft and have elected to address these infringement issues through license agreements. But Google denies that Microsoft holds patents that Android infringes, and its Motorola Mobility subsidiary has so far refused to enter into a license agreement with Microsoft. With an injunction against Google Maps in Germany on the horizon, Google may soon reconsider.