Motorola Wins Patent Battle And Potential For Injunction Against Apple In Germany

Apple is having a tough go of it over in Europe, as they’re involved in various lawsuits in several countries, including one they just lost. Motorola Mobility just scored a big hit against Apple, winning a patent infringement suit against them in Germany.

The lawsuit means Motorola can enforce an injunction against Apple, says, meaning no sales of iPhones or iPads in Germany. None! Nada. There’s also a similar patent case in the U.S. between the two companies.

In case you were wondering what the patent dispute was about, says:

“A Germany court ruled that Apple’s cellularly-enabled devices infringe European Patent 1010336, detailing a “method for performing a countdown function during a mobile-originated transfer for a packet radio system” FOSS Patents reports, and deemed an essential component of the GPRS data standard.

So it’s like a flux capacitor, right?

There won’t be a dearth of iProducts in Germany just yet, as the injunction comes with a hefty 100 euro price tag, and no doubt Apple will file an appeal in the case.

Motorola scores Apple iPhone/iPad injunction in Germany []


Edit Your Comment

  1. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Perhaps I don’t understand exchange rates, but 100 euros?

    • eturowski says:

      100M euros, according to the article. Little difference.

      • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

        And it’s a bond, which I believe usually gets refunded if the party posting it wins. FTFA: “Motorola will have to cough up a ‚Ǩ100m bond if it wants to chase a sales injunction, however.”

    • Mike says:

      To be fair, that is 1,462,360 Iranian Rials, so yeah, millions.

    • Sengfall says:

      I’m pretty sure that’s like 5 bucks in real money…..

      • krom says:

        Well, then you’re a fool, because 100 EUR is actually $133.

        That’s right, 1 EUR is worth MORE than $1US. Has for 9 years straight.

        But, you know, we’re better at absolutely everything.

  2. Hi_Hello says:

    I would like to patent a device that will do things people want but they didn’t know they can do yet.

  3. Darrone says:

    The patent system is out of control. It was designed to spur innovation and now patent trolls have destroyed that. We need to burn 99% of all existing patents. You shouldn’t be able to patent something as abstract as a touch-input device. That could be anything!

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      At least there is serious discussion on reform in the U.S. about filing and granting patents.

      That unfortunately does not solve the dilemma of patents for generic items.

    • DrLumen says:

      I agree that there are way too many ‘companies’ that hold general and obscure patents, produce nothing with those patents and just wait to trounce on someone to try to get a payday. However, I certainly wouldn’t consider Motorola to be a troll.

      • Darrone says:

        They aren’t trolls, but they are now patenting every minute, abstract or even theoretical thing that goes on in their phones because they have no choice! They need ammunition to fight other companies doing the same thing. that, AND they are often forced to buy these from actual trolls who simply got their first.

    • ARP says:

      AIA only addressed the first to file issue, the US still recognizes ‘business method’ patents (See Bilski). That’s the crux of the issue and won’t be changed any time soon.

  4. Mike says:

    In all these patent battles the only people that win are attorneys (like my beautiful wife who works with this sort of thing) and the people who lose are consumers. The Apple/HTC battle here in the US is very interesting, and not good for consumers at all.

  5. BradC says:

    “So it’s like a flux capacitor, right? “

    It’s a way of saying “3, 2, 1, go!” when passing a data connection from one access point to another, which is a ridiculous thing to give a patent for.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      So they filed a patent for the whole concept of “On the count of 3!”

      I guess that makes sense. For eons, man has never been able to agree on whether it was “Three, two, one, GO!” or just “Three, two, ONE!”

      It required a patent to clarify and finally tack down the true and correct way to do an “On the count of three!”

      Unfortunately, now that it is patented, we can’t use it anymore without paying a fee.

      And I say that’s ridiculous and illegal. Who’s with me?!
      If you are, yell “Hell No!” on the count of FOUR!

    • MikeHerbst says:

      Actually, there’s a whole suite of patents from Motorola who INVENTED the concept of the hot-handoff (the switching of a handset from one base station to another base station while maintaining a call that’s inprogress). The “simply counting 3-2-1” is actually a fairly complicated bit of synchronization between three radio entities, one of which is likely in-motion (hence the need to hand-off to another station, since you’re moving out of range of the previous station).

  6. Oh_Noes! says:

    Apple has not released an original product since the 90s, yawn.

  7. krom says:

    I thought GPRS was an open standard. But part of it is patented by Moto?

    • Firethorn says:

      Most of the time, when open standards are developed, any holders of applicable patents agree to license them at reasonable rates. I do wonder why that wasn’t the case here.

      • MrFuzzums says:

        Apple has been openly refusing to pay the license for Motorola’s patents since 2007 (amongst others), claiming that the fees are excessive for FRAND patents. It’s worth noting that they are the only major smartphone maker to do so. Apple is generally considered a bad business partner that insists on preferential treatment and terms.

  8. MaytagRepairman says:

    Congrats Motorola! You laid me off a few years ago but I still love you.

  9. Happy Tinfoil Cat says:


    Karma, plain and simple. THIS is why you shouldn’t be an A**hole.

  10. mavkato says:

    Apple is having a “tough go of it” in Europe? They were able to force a competitor to stop selling, and subsequently redesign their product in Europe over patent issues.

  11. cyberpenguin says:

    The sad thing is that the software patent system is such a ridiculous mess that no computer scientist today, or in the future, is ever going to consult patents to learn a bit of wisdom.

    IEEE Journals… yes. ACM proceedings… yes. Patents… no way.

    That is supposed to be the tradeoff… disclose your secrets and teach society and in return society will enforce your exclusive rights for 20 years.

    There simply is no teaching, but there sure is a lot of enforcing. Society is getting nothing for this Faustian bargain.

  12. Geotis says:

    “…in other news, Apple has retroactively sued Dr. Emmit Brown for patent infringement on a ‘flux dispersal unit’ which makes time-travel possible.”

  13. Overheal says:

    They do make WiFi only iPads, so I don’t see how they are banned from selling non-celluar models in germany.

    • MrFuzzums says:

      The actual wording of the decision specifically states that it is the 3G models. It doesn’t mention the iPhone 4S, which presumably has the same infringing tech, which is kind of weird.