Last year, Apple filed a suit in Germany against Motorola Mobility’s Xoom Android tablet, claiming the tablet infringed upon their iPad design patent. In an effort to fight back, Motorola filed a counter-claim that suggested Apple’s design patents were invalid, a favorable ruling on which would deal a serious blow to Cupertino.
A German court today ruled that the Xoom does not violate Apple’s design patent thanks in large part to its “shaped edges and evenly bent back”, but also denied Motorola’s counter-claim, upholding Apple’s design patents for the iPad as valid so Apple can use them in future cases against other tablets. Motorola and Apple still have upcoming legal battles in the country, as today’s ruling doesn’t impact Apple’s claims that Motorola is violating its multi-touch patents.
Because both parties lost portions of the suit, Apple was ordered to pay two-thirds of the legal fees associated with the case, while Motorola must pay the remaining third. As a result of the ruling, sales of the Motorola Xoom will be allowed to continue in the country, though we have a hard time believing either the now 18 month old tablet or the updated Xyboard line are doing many sales when more powerful and cheaper alternatives such as the very well-received Nexus 7 are available.
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