December 09, 2011, 11:40 AM —
German patent courts work fast, and a suit filed by Motorola against Apple in April has been decided in Motorola's favor. Apple sales could be blocked in Germany.
The European patent in question, #1010336, has been declared an "essential component" of the wireless standard, and is licensed under the FRAND (Fair, Reasonable, and Non-Discriminatory) rule. The argument is about previous infringement payments and penalties. Writing around the patents so Apple wouldn't infringe would be difficult if not impossible. Expect Apple to file an appeal. The first decision in German patent cases comes quickly, but an appeal will take at least two years.
Motorola can enforce a sales ban in Germany against iPads and all iPhones up to the 4S, which wasn't released when the case was filed. Doing so will require a bond of about $133 million to repay Apple for lost sales if Motorola loses the case. Motorola has yet to announce their intentions, but commenters have plenty of thoughts on this latest legal mess.
Turn about fair play
Apple deserves this setback
Joking aside, the more of these details that come out, the more it seems that Apple didn't really play ball when it came to the patents for the iPhone.
Scaramanga89 on appleinsider.com
Apple thinks that it is cheaper to ask a judge for forgiveness than to ask an IP owner for permission.
ConradJoe on appleinsider.com
Eventually, like happened in the whole Microsoft vs Apple patent stuff, either one or both of them will realise it isn’t productive and they will start cross licensing their patents.
Qassim on theverge.com
Motorola asked them to license the patent in 2007, so they may get awarded damages back till then, and not necessarily at the FRAND rate. Could be expensive for Apple - they should have just licensed it in 2007.
t2af on appleinsider.com
I wonder how Apple attorneys feel this morning to realize that Motorola holds important patents worldwide that can be used against Apple. Patents that Google will eventually own.
luis1972 on theverge.com
Motorola's attorney in Germany is also the same one who got the Samsung injunction lifted. Perhaps Apple should think about switching law firms.
KPOM on appleinsider.com
There will be months of negotiating and tons of billable hours for the lawyers, and this will get settled. Probably.