A German court has granted Motorola Mobility an injunction against the sale and/or distribution of the Xbox 360 in Germany, as well as copies of Windows 7, Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player, following a ruling
that some of Microsoft's products violate patents that pertain to the H.264 video codec and are held by Motorola.
Were Motorola to enforce this injunction, it would mean that Microsoft would lose the ability to sell its flagship products in Deutschland until the matter of Motorola's patents is settled, which would be a Very Big Deal™. Thing is, though, Motorola is currently prohibited from enforcing the injunction due to a restraining order issued by an American judge in Seattle.
Microsoft argued that Motorola is abusing its "Frand-commitments," which are essentially a pinky swear that a massive company makes to the world when it is in possession of a universally required piece of technology, wherein it commits to providing licenses for said technology at "fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory" rates. Microsoft says that Motorola's asking price goes beyond fair and reasonable, so the judge issued the restraining order to prevent the injunction from happening until the case can be heard, which is currently scheduled to happen on May 7.
Meanwhile, Microsoft is also appealing the German court's decision, and thanks to the restraining order from the American judge, it'll be able to conduct business as usual during that process. Patent infringement cases like this are all about applying pressure on both sides until one of the companies involved cracks, so we doubt that Motorola ever actually expected that it'd be able to enforce a successful injunction. The fact that it happened at all, however, despite being nullified, adds another layer of trouble and stress to Microsoft's half of the situation.
It's a lot like vs. Dr. Mario
, but with slightly more money involved.