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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.”

 
There are 11 comments

amojeba says:

Taste of your own medicine apple. Not too pleasant, is it?

sutrebla15 says:

It makes me smile seeing Apple lose these court cases lately...

Small_law says:

How happy do you think it makes Apple essentially to pay Google licensing fees for cell phone technology? Maps is one thing. This is a whole different story.

On2Vegas says:

And BOOM goes the dynamite!

orlanka says:

I really wish I would've pursued a career in legal, it's cases like these that offer long term job stability.

""Hey Mav, do you still have the name of that patent litigation school?"

msgnyc says:

"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. "

If it were up to Apple, they would push for a ban of all non Apple products.
Take the Samsung Galaxy Tab for example......

I mean comeon, they are telling Samsung they are not allowed to make Phones/Tablets with a black front, flat face, centered screen, organized (non cluttered)interface, slim form factor, etc........
If it were up to them, noone would beable to make Phones, Tablets, computers, music players, etc except for them.

icebike says:

The patent in question seems to only affect GPRS, who uses that any more?

"method for performing a countdown function during a mobile-originated transfer for a packet radio system".

Count down function? Apple could step away from this patent in a heart beat by simply using any other method of showing a bar-graph or something. This is a nothing patent that should not have been issued in the first place.

pheatton says:

From what I have been reading this patent is pretty fundamental to how cell phones work. After all Moto did invent the cell phone and holds patents on most of its basic technology.

icebike says:

It is neither fundamental nor necessary when you google up the actual patent. I did this some months ago when this was first reported.

Its basically a way to know and report how long, a down load will take, and to keep the radio link open, waiting on the next packet to arrive, because they arrive sporadically and in bursts on GPRS. GPRS is not TCP/IP, so you have to monitor the connection yourself.

The thing is, the penalty for keeping the radio link alive until you have received the expected file size, or you reach some internally set limit is, at most, a tiny amount of extra battery.

Here's the patent: Read it yourself and see if you think it is critical.

Several sources other than Android Central are reporting that this is effectively already a BAN on iPhones in the EU.
See http://www.zdnet.com/blog/london/motorola-secures-europe-wide-sales-ban-...

PensHockey says:

So who was gettin paid from Steve Jobs to allow all these patents lawsuits? He died (RIP) and now apples starts losing.

elking says:

If only Jobs was still around to see this. His head would have exploded.