Motorola Defeats Apple in German Patent Dispute, Outcome is Not as it Seems

The international patent debacle got a little spicy yesterday when FOSS Patents reported that Motorola Mobility had actually won a German injunction against Apple that could potentially prevent them from selling Apple products in Germany. Apple has since issued a statement confirming the injunction, but before you go getting all excited, a little bit of research reveals the outcome may not actually be as it appears.

Apparently Apple runs thing a little different in Germany. Two separate organizations represent Apple: Apple Germany, the local subsidiary that sells products to German consumers, and Apple Inc., the worldwide parent company – the one we are familiar with here in the states. Motorola Mobility took both organizations to court and since Apple lawyers were busy fighting for Apple Germany, they let the Apple Inc. lawsuit slide, thus resulting in a default judgement and injunction against the parent organization. Now this is where it gets interesting – Since Apple Inc. isn’t the organization responsible for product sales in Germany, there is no products to actually ban, unfortunately making the Moto victory somewhat symbolic. Hey, at least it’s a win, right?

Apple has confirmed that they will still appeal the decision and the Germany case will proceed to move forward. Looks like we can’t close the book on this one just quite yet.

Motorola’s official statement:

As media and mobility continue to converge, Motorola Mobility’s patented technologies are increasingly important for innovation within the wireless and communications industries, for which Motorola Mobility has developed an industry leading intellectual property portfolio. We will continue to assert ourselves in the protection of these assets, while also ensuring that our technologies are widely available to end-users. We hope that we are able to resolve this matter, so we can focus on creating great innovations that benefit the industry.

Apple’s official statement:

This is a procedural issue, and has nothing to do with the merits of the case. It does not affect our ability to sell products or do business in Germany at this time.

[via the verge]

» See more articles by Stacy Bruce


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  • Samir Shah

    Finally Google buying out Motorola has worked in Android’s favour. I say Android because face it, this is a war between the Android OS and the Apple OS and its about time we hear some good news on our side! Excellent work Google for kicking their ass and hopefully keep kicking their butt to drive their market share even more down. I do like apple products but sincerely, I do not like them anymore frankly because of their lack of innovation and their BS attitude!

  • Calvin

    Agreed, I do like Apple’s product, but due to what they are doing to other companies around, it’s just too annoying. Used to be an iPod iPhone iPad user..not anymore

  • Manuel Alvarado

    I could picture the upper or lower points of the Motorola logo stabbing Apple’s logo.