Apple has been in the news for a long time regarding patent infringement actions that it has taken against Samsung and in Germany and their ability to essentially block the sale of Galaxy Tab tablets. Their successes in Germany have been talked about a lot, that is until today. News coming from Germany is that Apple has lost an injunction case and this one does not involve Samsung, but rather Motorola Mobility. In that case, Apple has been ruled against and there is now a temporary injunction against Apple which bars them from selling any of their products in Germany.
The decision was handed down by the Mannheim Regional Court in Germany and was announced today is tied to a patent infringement filing done by Motorola Mobility last April against Apple in Germany for Apple Sales International, which is a subsidiary of Apple located in Ireland. This particular judgment involves the Apple OS on their phones and covers ”a method for performing a countdown function during a mobile-originated transfer for a packet radio system.” Motorola owns patents covering this and is enforcing those patents rights in Germany. Foss Patents has reported information on this and the preliminary injunction does ban those products which are infringing on the Motorola Mobility patents and impacts the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPad 1 and iPad 2.
This is a major setback for Apple in the attempts to protect their patents and now this initial ruling is saying that Apple has infringed on the patents of Motorola Mobility. Apple is sure to appeal today’s decision, but that process may take some time to be completed and in the mean time, Apple may be barred from selling Apple products covered by the injunction in Germany.
Motorola Mobility has issues a press release on today’s ruling in Germany and Scott Offer who is a Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Motorola Mobility says:
We will continue to take all necessary steps to protect our intellectual property, as the Company’s patent portfolio and licensing agreements with companies both in the U.S. and around the world are critical to our business. We have been negotiating with Apple and offering them reasonable licensing terms and conditions since 2007, and will continue our efforts to resolve our global patent dispute as soon as practicable.
For Apple, the war that they have been fighting against Samsung has now increased to include Motorola Mobility and things are stacking up against them. One would believe that Google is happy with today’s news.