updated 12:08 pm EDT, Thu September 13, 2012
Move could block Motorola phones, tablets
A court in Munich has granted Apple the right to an injunction against Motorola products, reports say. The ruling follows a five-week delay; if the injunction isn't successfully appealed, it will see some Motorola phones and tablets banned in Germany. At the heart of the dispute is the "rubber-banding" element in many phone and tablet interfaces, which makes a page spring back after reaching the end of a page. Apple has argued that Motorola's implementation of the concept in Android violates a patent.
Apple has several options in pushing the injunction forward. It must at least post a $32 million bond to enforce a ban, but can add $12.9 million to require Motorola to get rid of any infringing devices, or still another $12.9 million to force a Germany-wide recall. Motorola will however likely make an appeal to the Munich Higher Regional Court, and challenge the validity of the patent at the European Patent Office.
The company has taken contradictory stances on whether it violated Apple's patent. In April it said it had, but contested the validity of the patent. At an August trial it denied any wrongdoing, but has not had any success with the claim.
Motorola has a relatively small footprint in the German phone and tablet market, but an Apple victory could have long-term ramifications for Android, potentially leading phone makers to diversify the operating systems they use. Motorola itself is guaranteed to stick with the platform, since it is now owned by Google.