Xbox 360 banned in Germany

A patent dispute between Microsoft and Motorola has resulted in an injunction banning key Microsoft items from distribution in Germany – including Xbox 360.

Also blocked from distribution in the country are Windows 7, Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player.

The development follows news last week that the pair were locked in a legal tussle in the US courts. Unlike the German courts, however, a US court has said Motorola cannot enforce any action until the matter is considered further.

The disagreement stems over Microsoft’s use of H.264 video compression technology.

Microsoft had the foresight to anticipate the ruling, however, and last month moved its European distribution centre from Germany to the Netherlands.

"This is one step in a long process, and we are confident that Motorola will eventually be held to its promise to make its standard essential patents available on fair and reasonable terms for the benefit of consumers who enjoy video on the web," Microsoft said in a statement

"Motorola is prohibited from acting on today’s decision, and our business in Germany will continue as usual while we appeal this decision and pursue the fundamental issue of Motorola’s broken promise.”

A legal agreement between the pair remains very likely, however, with Motorola facing very high fees if it wishes to maintain its injunctions.

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