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German court turkey-slaps Motorola in patent case

Recall ordered, subject to Apple posting bonds

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A Munich court has determined that Motorola infringed Apple’s “overscroll bounce” technology and has ordered a recall of all tablets and smartphones containing the technology.

The Chocolate Moto won’t have to move immediately, since it’s now up to Apple to post various bonds to cover enforcement. For a mere 25 million Euros, Apple can obtain a permanent injunction covering all of Germany. Another 10 million Euros will let Cupertino demand that Motorola destroy all infringing material on hand, and a further 10 million Euros will let it enforce the recall in the court order.

The patent covers a user interaction behavior, allowing users to scroll documents or photos past their boundaries, having them bounce back when the finger is released.

Devices covered by the patent include Motorola’s Milestone XT720, DEFY, Atrix, and XOOM.

Germany has been a key battleground for Apple in its worldwide patent crusade, and has been the scene of wins for Cupertino against both the Google-owned Motorola and arch-nemesis Samsung. Earlier this month, Apple’s lawyer-bomb exploded over Google’s infringement of a slide-to-unlock patent and a photo gallery patent – decisions also handed down in Munich.

The ruling also means that Google will have to hand sales figures for the infringing devices over to Apple for damages calculation.

Florian Mueller at Foss Patents says “Android has far bigger patent infringement problems than any piece of computer software has ever had in the history of the industry”.

Google is continuing to challenge the validity of the patent at the European Patent Office. ®

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