Motorola wins 3G patent case against Apple in Germany

It looks like Motorola’s preliminary injunction against iPhone and iPad products in Germany has translated to a full-blown win. While the specific damages have yet to be dallied, it’s safe to assume that since the patent is an integral part of the GPRS standard, and the case win relates to all 3G Apple products released before the iPhone 4S, it could be a doozy. Of course, Apple is still in a position to make an appeal, so the fight’s not over quite yet. If Motorola wants to start enforcing their patent claim right away, it’ll cost them $134 million, and might still be canceled if Apple wins their appeal.  The key to winning the case was the way in which Motorola invalidated Apple’s earlier attempt to strike up a licensing deal, and the protection against litigation that such a situation usually provides.

“Motorola overcame Apple’s FRAND defense because Apple reserved the right to contest the validity of the patent-in-suit “when, insofar and for as long as” Motorola would seek damages for past infringement — which in Motorola’s opinion goes back to the year 2007 — above a FRAND rate.”

For now, the ruling only applies to Germany, but it’s easy to imagine the precedent being set for Motorola to chase Apple through the rest of Europe, and maybe even provide them some leverage in the U.S. case. Here’s the full court document if you want to dive into the legalese.

11-12-09 Mannheim Ruling for MMI Against Apple

[via FOSS Patents]



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