Feeds

Apple wins battle in Motorola patent war

iPhone, iPad blocker unblocked, rules German court

The essential guide to IT transformation

A German court has ruled that Motorola Mobility can't enforce a patent-battle injunction it won in December that would have prevented Apple's iPhone and iPad from being sold in that country.

The injunction caused Apple to remove those products from its German online store earlier this month, only to put them back up within hours, after the courts issued a temporary suspension of that injunction.

Monday's ruling in an appeals court, in Karlsruhe, Germany, as reported by Bloomberg, goes a step further, saying that Motorola can't enforce the injunction while the case is under appeal – which may take a year or more.

At issue is a patent related to general packet radio services (GPRS) that's at the core to the development of 3G technology – so essential, in fact that the patent is legally defined as being a "standard essential patent", subject to FRAND (Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory) licensing conditions. Motorola must license it at reasonable terms to competitors – not to do so would violate antitrust laws.

"At the current state of the proceedings, it is to be assumed that Motorola Mobility would violate its duties under antitrust rules if it continues to ask Apple to stop the sales," Bloomberg reports that the Karlsruhe court said in a statement.

And so now Apple can continue to sell its iWares in Germany during the appeal, and also attempt to reach a FRAND licensing settlement with Motorola without the pressure of lost sales.

Do note, however, that this is just one patent dogfight in which Apple is contesting with the handset maker for which Google began acquisition proceedings last August. Another spat has led to Apple having to turn off iCloud push notifications, and that case is wholly separate and still in dispute.

While all this may seem a wee bit confusing, one thing is clear: if Google had planned to use its $12.5bn Motorola Mobility acquisition primarily to wield a big ol' patent stick, that cudgel just became a bit flaccid. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Britain's housing crisis: What are we going to do about it?
Rent control: Better than bombs at destroying housing
GCHQ protesters stick it to British spooks ... by drinking urine
Activists told NOT to snap pics of staff at the concrete doughnut
Top beak: UK privacy law may be reconsidered because of social media
Rise of Twitter etc creates 'enormous challenges'
What do you mean, I have to POST a PHYSICAL CHEQUE to get my gun licence?
Stop bitching about firearms fees - we need computerisation
Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case
Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
Australia deflates Valve with Steam sueball
Alleges breaches of Oz consumer law
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.