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Apple wins a reprieve in court battle with Motorola

Gets a temporary stay
Tue Feb 28 2012, 13:24

FLOGGER OF SHINY TOYS Apple has won a temporary stay of an injunction granted to Motorola Mobility in its attempt to block the sale of Apple's products in Germany.

The Karlsruhe Higher Regional Court handed a victory to Apple yesterday, giving the company the green light to continue selling its Ipad tablets in Germany.

Motorola won a temporary injunction against Apple in Mannheim court last December to block sales of its 3G-enabled smartphones as well as the 3G models of its Ipad tablets because it claimed they infringed some of its patents. It's part of a larger patents war between Apple and Google's Android device manufacturing partners.

Patents gadfly Florian Mueller said that the stay of the injunction could remain for over a year until the case goes to trial.

He even conjectured that it could result in the collapse of Google's pending acquisition of Motorola, telling The INQUIRER, "Google's strategy was largely based on the idea of gaining so much leverage over Apple and Microsoft in Germany that it could force those rivals into broad cross-licensing agreements on Google's preferred terms. But that kind of leverage depends on injunctions."

He added, "The threat of damage awards isn't sufficient when you're dealing with such large players - only product bans count."

Mueller, who is not a lawyer, especially not a patent attorney, but who claims he is paid by Microsoft as a consultant, went even further and said he believes that Apple getting this temporary stay does not bode well for Motorola in the long run and could see it, and Google, pulled into an investigation about competition and illegal practices.

Apple did not have fresh comment on the court ruling, but reiterated its previous sentiments about Motorola Mobility and patents.

"Motorola repeatedly refuses to license this patent to Apple on reasonable terms, despite having declared it an industry standard patent," said a spokesperson.

"We think it's an abuse of the patent system to use a standards essential patent to block the import and sale of a competitor's product, and Apple has never used standards essential patents in that way."

The Motorola camp, meanwhile, is pleased by the result from the German court and sure of its own prospects.

"We believe that inventors should be paid for their innovations, and the Appellate Court in Karlsruhe, Germany has agreed. After years of fruitless negotiation with Apple, Motorola Mobility (MMI) was compelled to bring patent infringement proceedings and enforce a resulting injunction because Apple refused to negotiate a license agreement," it said in a statement.

"MMI's determination to collect fair compensation for Apple's use of MMI's patented technology has now been vindicated by the Appellate Court's decision, which clarified and confirmed that Apple's licensing offer to MMI in January is a contractually binding commitment to pay royalties to MMI on all of Apple's cellular devices." µ



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