Motorola secures Europe-wide sales ban on iPhone, iPad

Motorola secures Europe-wide sales ban on iPhone, iPad

Summary: A German court has imposed a preliminary injunction on Apple's 3G-enabled iOS devices across Europe for infringing a Motorola-held patent.

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Motorola Mobility has won a patent dispute with Apple in Germany this morning that could spell a sales injunction against its products across Europe.

A regional court in Mannheim, Germany ruled that Apple's devices with cellular networking infringe Motorola-owned patent 1010336. This is the equivalent networking patent has detailed by U.S. Patent No. 6,359,898.

Such devices include the iPhone 3G, 3GS, and the iPhone 4. It also includes the 3G-enabled original iPad and iPad 2. While Motorola did not specifically name the iPhone 4S in its case, it is likely that the latest Apple smartphone is also affected by the ruling.

Unless Apple can secure a stay until a higher regional court can hear an appeal, the iPhone smartphone and iPad tablet could be barred from being sold in Europe.

Apple is expected to appeal for a stay on the injunction as it prepares its appeal.

But whether Germany can enforce a Europe-wide ban on 3G-enabled iOS devices is unclear.

In September, a German court 'downgraded' its ban on Samsung selling its Galaxy Tab tablet across Europe, after concerns were raised that the court may not have had the authority to issue such a broad embargo.

FOSS Patents author Florian Mueller says that the injunction is preliminarily enforceable against Ireland-based Apple Sales International, "in exchange for a €100 million ($134 million) bond", unless Apple wins its stay.

This means that should Apple win a stay on the injunction, Motorola would be liable to pay the bond should it fail in its bid later down the line to keep in the sales in place. The bond is significantly lower than the €2 billion ($2.7 billion) charge that Apple had asked for.

While Apple could attempt to gain a license from Motorola, this would not apply retroactively. Motorola could then insist on damages for Apple's prior infringement in its previous smartphone and tablet devices.

Apple had sought a “Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory” (FRAND) license, but Motorola had previously convinced the court that the damages Apple inflicted would exceed the FRAND terms.

Germany is one of the strongest economies in the Eurozone, and one of the key markets for Apple in Europe.

Apple declined to comment on the ruling.

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Topics: Enterprise Software, Apple, iPhone, iPad, Mobility

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119 comments
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  • RE: Motorola secures Europe-wide sales ban on iPhone, iPad

    Bout time they got a taste of their own medicine.
    OhTheHumanity
    • RE: Motorola secures Europe-wide sales ban on iPhone, iPad

      @OhTheHumanity

      Agreed.
      NoAxToGrind
    • RE: Motorola secures Europe-wide sales ban on iPhone, iPad

      @OhTheHumanity Its called Karma my friend.
      thezorch@...
    • RE: Motorola secures Europe-wide sales ban on iPhone, iPad

      @OhTheHumanity You play with fire, you get burned. That's what Apple gets for sending their greedy little lawyers after everyone and their mother.
      j28n
    • RE: Motorola secures Europe-wide sales ban on iPhone, iPad

      @OhTheHumanity

      BWAHAHAHAHA! Oh man, Apple gets some of their own 'banola' medicine... I wonder how that crow tastes. Anyway, perhaps now the people in power will realize how STUPID piecemeal software patents are and will push to have them banned, with only a finished OS being patentable.

      If that means that someone 'steals' your work to implement a feature? Too damned bad, that usually means that you did the feature right (and in the least redundant) way possible.
      Lerianis10
      • RE: Motorola secures Europe-wide sales ban on iPhone, iPad

        @Lerianis10
        Except of course, these AREN'T software patents. If they were, they wouldn't be upheld in a European court. These are device patents, like almost anything on a cellphone.
        A.Sinic
      • RE: Motorola secures Europe-wide sales ban on iPhone, iPad

        @A.Sinic

        Actually, the patents that are being used to get this ban ARE software patents. They are not the 'similar look and feel' stuff that Apple tried to do against the Tab, which was even more outrageous to be honest.
        Lerianis10
    • RE: Motorola secures Europe-wide sales ban on iPhone, iPad

      @OhTheHumanity Exactly
      Jimster480
  • Live by the sword...

    [pre]while (goesAround)
    comesAround++;[/pre]
    Robert Hahn
    • RE: Motorola secures Europe-wide sales ban on iPhone, iPad

      @Robert Hahn Congratulations, you've earned extra bonus geek points.
      thezorch@...
      • No bonus points

        @thezorch@... <br><br>It doesn't logically mean "What goes around comes around". It means something more like "While something goes around, you get a little more of what has already come around."
        RationalGuy
      • RE: Motorola secures Europe-wide sales ban on iPhone, iPad

        @RationalGuy @thezorch@... Perhaps a better statement would be <br>goesAround == comesAround;
        ... although that doesn't seem quite right either X-D
        Imrhien
    • RE: Motorola secures Europe-wide sales ban on iPhone, iPad

      @Robert Hahn:

      Perfect! Made my day with that, thank you Robert!
      khowell78737
    • Endless loop?

      @Robert Hahn
      John L. Ries
    • RE: Motorola secures Europe-wide sales ban on iPhone, iPad

      @Robert Hahn nicely done
      Jimster480
    • @Robert Hahn .. good point, but i prefer to look at it like this ...

      public static int Apple_BS = 1;<br><br>public int goesAround = 1;<br><br>public int comesAround = 0;<br><br>public static int numOfBogusApplePatentClaims = 5000;<br><br>public boolean good_karma = false; <br><br>// initialize bad_karma to true (.. ha! that goes without saying)<br><br>public boolean bad_karma = true; <br><br>public boolean nowWeCanAllGetSomeSleep = false;<br><br>//--------------------------------------------------------------<br><br> if (numOfBogusApplePatentClaims > 0)<br> {<br> <br> while (numOfBogusApplePatentClaims > 0)<br> {<br><br> // Apple's BS returned ( ..with interest ;P )<br><br> Apple_BS++;<br><br> goesAround = Apple_BS;<br><br> comesAround = goesAround;<br><br> bad_karma = true;<br><br> good_karma = false;<br><br> // DoJ (& other arbitrators) must slowly eliminate ..<br> // or use counter-claims thus eventually eroding <br> // the number to an ideal level (..for the sake of<br> // all things sane .. and humanity): 0<br> <br> numOfBogusApplePatentClaims--; <br><br> nowWeCanAllGetSomeSleep = false;<br> }<br><br> } <br> else if (numOfBogusApplePatentClaims == 0)<br> {<br> Apple_BS = 0;<br> goesAround = 0;<br> comesAround = 0;<br> bad_karma = false;<br> good_karma = true; // .. funny that <br> nowWeCanAllGetSomeSleep = true; <br><br> }<br><br>//--------------------------------------------------------------<br><br>// n.b. please excuse my "language" .. it's been a while since i last coded.<br><br>// ;)
      thx-1138_
  • Apple is now a twice convicted IP thief

    Are ZDNet posters now going to accuse Germany of being corrupt? That would be interesting considering how a German court ruling was used as proof that Samsung copied Apple. I never heard any claims then that Germany was corrupt.
    toddybottom
    • I won't

      @toddybottom <br>I''ve no reason to believe the court in this case was anything but impartial, but it appears that the patent system is as broken in Europe as it is in the US, and not just when MS loses.<br><br>But as in the other case, I have no idea whether the judge got it right, nor do you, I suspect (but I trust German judges more than I trust Chinese ones).<br><br>Reply to toddybottom:<br><br>I'm doing good. I've been accused of being both an MS and an Apple fan in less than two days! I'm actually a Linux user. "Right" in a judicial decision indicates correct interpretation and application of the law, given the facts of the case.
      John L. Ries
      • What is your definition of "right"?

        @John L. Ries
        "I have no idea whether the judge got it right"

        Wait, let me guess. Right = "Whatever decision is good for Apple and bad for Apple's competition."

        You Apple fanbois are all the same.
        toddybottom
      • RE: Motorola secures Europe-wide sales ban on iPhone, iPad

        @toddybottom
        Your whole arguments is based on a guess, which is incorrect to begin with.

        MS fanboys are all the same.
        anono