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Windows, Xbox, WMP, IE to be banned in Germany

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  • User profile image
    GoddersUK

    German courts seem to like banning allegedly infringing products. Their latest is a ban of, among other things, Windows 7 and the Xbox 360 due to alleged claims of infringement.

    For reasons I don't understand a court in Seattle is preventing Motorola enforcing the ban. Is Germany now US jurisdiction? Perplexed

     It did get me thinking though - what would happen if Germany's supply of new Windows licences was cut off? Individuals and organisations would be stuck unable to upgrade/replace equipment and face huge migration costs to other platforms if it continued for an extended period of time.

     What really scares me about this kind of thing, though, is cases in the past where companies have faced a potential outcome of having to remotely disable customers products (example here). Can you imagine the havoc that would ensue if these type of cases crossed Microsoft were forced to send out a Windows Update disabling all Windows computers in Germany?

  • User profile image
    PaoloM

    Also, iPhones and iPads are banned as well.

  • User profile image
    bitdisaster

    Fortunarely I moved to Canada #SmartMe

  • User profile image
    Ian2

    Did anyone else hear this in their head when they read this?

    "For you Microsoft, Zee vorr is over ..."

  • User profile image
    evildictait​or

    , GoddersUK wrote

    It did get me thinking though - what would happen if Germany's supply of new Windows licences was cut off?

    The US government would take retaliatory action against big German companies, that's what would happen. And that's why the ban hasn't taken place.

    Microsoft were forced to send out a Windows Update disabling all Windows computers in Germany?

    It wouldn't happen. Microsoft would refuse to do business in Germany before it took that kind of action.

  • User profile image
    AndyC

    , evildictaitor wrote

    *snip*

    It wouldn't happen. Microsoft would refuse to do business in Germany before it took that kind of action.

    And, in any case, any such update would merely remove the contested h.264 decoders, not completely disable Windows.

  • User profile image
    Bass

    Motorola initially offered Microsoft a license for their patents but Microsoft refused. I can't say I'm surprised by this.

    Welcome to the enviable conclusion of the software patent wars. All software becomes illegal.

  • User profile image
    fanbaby

    , Bass wrote

    Motorola initially offered Microsoft a license for their patents but Microsoft refused. I can't say I'm surprised by this.

    Welcome to the enviable conclusion of the software patent wars. All software becomes illegal.

    But, but, how can you not see that Microsoft is the victim here! Wink

    [Sadly I understand that in this game you cannot easily fend off Microsoft. Micosoft heart lawyers, who would have guessed]  

  • User profile image
    fanbaby

    @Bass: In other news, there is hope in humanity.

  • User profile image
    cbae

    , Bass wrote

    Motorola initially offered Microsoft a license for their patents but Microsoft refused. I can't say I'm surprised by this.

    Welcome to the enviable conclusion of the software patent wars. All software becomes illegal.

    The fees for the licensing that they offered to Microsoft were not fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory.

     

  • User profile image
    GoddersUK

    , AndyC wrote

    *snip*

    And, in any case, any such update would merely remove the contested h.264 decoders, not completely disable Windows.

    In this case. My intention was to refer to a hypothetical situation similar to the DVRs linked to. If they could be required to remove the h.264 codecs then, for some other, more fundamental, violation they could be made to shut the whole thing down.

     And I don't it's right for them to de-feature something already sold just because it's possible. It wouldn't (couldn't) be done for any no software (or software powered) product.

  • User profile image
    evildictait​or

    , GoddersUK wrote

    then, for some other, more fundamental, violation they could be made to shut the whole thing down.

    No they can't. Microsoft is in the US, and only the US government can force Microsoft to do anything.

    If Germany wanted to, they could stop Microsoft from selling stuff or employing staff in Germany, but that's the worst they can do - and in fact Microsoft have moved most (all?) of their staff from Germany to the Netherlands because of Germany's posturing on precisely this issue.

    Microsoft would never ship an update to remotely disable their products, because doing so would hurt their business even more than losing all Microsoft business in Germany. And since Microsoft are a big US company and that kind of sanction would hurt the US, the US state department would take retaliatory action against German companies in the US, and that would hurt Germany, so Germany wouldn't allow it.

    So all in all, it's not going to happen.

  • User profile image
    magicalclick

    Shouldn't have trusted Motorola video codec. Sigh.....

    Leaving WM on 5/2018 if no apps, no dedicated billboards where I drive, no Store name.
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  • User profile image
    Bass

    @evildictaitor:

    You do realize, the plaintiff is also a US company. How about Motorola's own intellectual property interests? Using the trade system to benefit one US company IP interests to the determinant of anothers would be thinly veiled cronyism in this case, so not likely to occur.

    Motorola really has Microsoft by the balls at this point. Probably a big reason why Google is buying them out. They've been looking for a way to retaliate against Microsoft's Android patent trolling.

    http://flowingdata.com/2011/08/22/mobile-patent-lawsuits-2/

    Welcome to the technology industry. Enjoy your lawsuits.

  • User profile image
    evildictait​or

    , Bass wrote

    @evildictaitor:

    You do realize, the plaintiff is also a US company. 

    It doesn't matter. What matters is that the German legal system can't compel Microsoft to do anything like remotely disable Windows installations and that the US state department would take retaliatory action against German companies if the German courts took unfair legal action to stop Microsoft doing business in Germany.

    If Motorola want to compel Microsoft to do something, they need to take Microsoft to court in the US. It doesn't matter what nationality the plaintiff is.

  • User profile image
    Maddus Mattus

    @evildictaitor: there is no unfair in law, it's binary, either something is legal or illegal.

    What this will create is a trade war, and with the current state of the economy, not very helpfull.

  • User profile image
    JoshRoss

    Microsoft should just use the money they get from Android sales and pay for the codec. Easy come, easy go. I understand that ActiveSync isn't a standard, per se, and therefore there isn't a formal requirement that the patents related are offered on FRAND terms.

    -Josh

  • User profile image
    JoshRoss

    As far as ActiveSync goes, I would rather have some sort of formal standard like IMAP. Did Microsoft torpedo IMAP development, so they could develop a competing protocol, free of FRAND requirements, and [w]hore the bejesus out of it? 

    -Josh

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