The Mannheim Regional Court ruled in favor of Motorola Mobility against Apple today in an ongoing patent suit. The same German court ruled also ruled against Apple last month, but today's decision is much more significant.
The patent in question is EP1010336, which is:
"method for performing a countdown function during a mobile-originated transfer for a packet radio system".
The court ruled that Apple Sales International is infringing on this patent owned by Motorola Mobility.
So what happens now?
Motorola Mobility could make steps to enforce the injunction, which could result in banning Apple products from being sold in the German market. This is an extreme situation and is unlikely to happen. More likely is Motorola to work out a deal with Apple to license the technology. They are also seeking compensation for past infringements.
Apple is likely going to request a stay, which could change the ruling entirely.
These patent wars are likely to go on for a long time, and we'd expect none of them to result in the outright banning of consumer goods. Licensing deals and money to make up for infringing in the past are a lot more likely.
We've got the press release from Motorola Mobility after the break.
German Court Rules in Favor of Motorola Mobility in Apple Litigation
Court grants Motorola Mobility’s requests for injunction and damages
LIBERTYVILLE, Ill., Dec. 9, 2011 - Motorola Mobility Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: MMI) ("Motorola Mobility") today announced that the court in Manheim, Germany (the “Court”) has ruled that Apple’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) European sales company, Ireland-based Apple Sales International, is infringing one of Motorola Mobility’s core cellular communications patents related to data packet transfer technology (GPRS) through its sales of the iPhone and iPad devices. The Court granted Motorola Mobility’s requests for an injunction and damages.
“We are pleased with the court’s ruling. Today’s decision validates Motorola Mobility’s efforts to enforce its patents against Apple’s infringement,” said Scott Offer, senior vice president and general counsel of Motorola Mobility. “Motorola Mobility has worked hard over the years to build an industry-leading intellectual property portfolio that is respected by the telecommunications industry, and we are proud to leverage this portfolio to create differentiated innovations that enhance the user experience. We will continue to take all necessary steps to protect our intellectual property, as the Company’s patent portfolio and licensing agreements with companies both in the U.S. and around the world are critical to our business. We have been negotiating with Apple and offering them reasonable licensing terms and conditions since 2007, and will continue our efforts to resolve our global patent dispute as soon as practicable.”