updated 01:25 pm EST, Fri December 23, 2011
Judge leans towards Apple over Motorola in case
Apple might have a counter to Motorola's German patent lawsuit win with one of its own. A Munich hearing attended by Florian Mueller saw the judge "rather convinced" towards the end that Android's Gallery app at least partly violates an Apple patent in Europe. Based on impressions, it was likely that the court would issue a ban with a more lasting decision on February 16.
Motorola didn't appear immediately concerned that it might lose. It may feel that it can redesign around the Apple patent or that devices affected by it may no longer be relevant by the time a ban would be enforced.
Apple may be less successful with its well-known slide-to-unlock patent. The judge may stay that case after seeing a Netherlands court rule the patent invalid, which might set enough of a precedent in Germany. The hold would help determine the validity of the patent before leveling it against Motorola.
The verdict might not come soon enough to avoid some Apple hardware being pulled from the market, but it could balance the dispute once more and give Apple a bargaining chip.