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Motorola wins lawsuit, ban against Apple in Germany

updated 08:20 am EST, Fri December 9, 2011

Motorola gets German win blocking iPhone, 3G iPads

Motorola won a more definitive verdict against Apple than its default judgment on Friday after a Mannheim court ruled that Apple had violated one of the 3G-related patents. The determination would ban any of Apple's 3G devices, including some iPad models and all iPhones predating the iPhone 4S. Apple might have the opportunity to either license the patent to avoid the ban or else design around it, although the last option is unlikely.

In defending itself, Apple had tried to contend that Motorola had been violating FRAND (fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory) patent licensing rules by for any past-damage requests that went beyond fair rates. Those requirements only applied to current damages, not the past, Motorola said. The court agreed that insisting on FRAND for past damages would let companies violate patents knowing they could get as good or better a deal than if they had licensed properly in the first place.

Apple will very likely appeal the loss, but it's also trying to invalidate the 3G patent and others in a Munich Federal Patent court. A successful decision would negate Motorola's lawsuit victory and leave it without much of a defense against Apple's own claims.

Motorola has been one of the few to get genuine victories against Apple in court. Samsung has not only seen the Galaxy Tab 10.1 at least temporarily banned in Germany, but has even seen a variant banned for not significantly deviating from the look and feel of Apple's iPad. [via Florian Mueller]

11-12-09 Mannheim Ruling for MMI Against Apple

By Electronista Staff


  1. coffeetime

    Senior User

    Joined: Nov 2006


    Does that mean...

    no iPhone in German? Motorola and Samsung, you s-u-c-k-s big time.

  1. DerekMorr

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2010


    if you can't stand the heat

    This is what happens when you play with fire. All of the companies involved in these on-going patent lawsuits have been burned to varying degrees. Hopefully, this is a wake-up call for all of them to stop this nonsense.

  1. SockRolid

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Jan 2010


    Life in the Big City

    It's just a cost of doing business. iPhone is already well-established around the world, and Apple is absorbing the majority of money in the mobile phone industry. The entire industry. Not just the smartphone segment.

    If this had happened to iPad in 2010, it could have seriously hurt iPad's success. But in 2012, for the 5-year-old iPhone line, paying a few billion in FRAND license damages is just lunch money for Apple.

  1. wrenchy

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Nov 2009


    Just the cost

    of doing business.


    Let's just remember who started this nonsense of banning products from market. Apple might not like what it started.

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