Motorola wins preliminary ban vs Apple in Germany

SAN FRANCISCO Mon Nov 7, 2011 1:15pm EST

A Motorola logo is seen on their building at an industrial estate in Singapore April 3, 2008. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

A Motorola logo is seen on their building at an industrial estate in Singapore April 3, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Vivek Prakash

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SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A German court granted a preliminary injunction against Apple Inc in a patent infringement case that banned the California company from selling some devices in Germany.

But the ruling should not impact Apple's sales in Germany as the company sells all its product there through a local subsidiary, which was not covered by the injunction.

The district court in Mannheim, Germany, said on Friday Apple may not sell certain mobile devices in Germany that infringe on two Motorola Mobility patents related to wireless technology. If Apple does sell the devices, it has to pay a fine of up to 250,000 euros, according to the court.

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

Motorola Mobility is in the process of being acquired by Internet search giant Google Inc, which is also a major player in the mobile market through its Android operating system.

Apple is already embroiled in multiple patent infringement battles with rival mobile handset makers -- primarily against Samsung Electronics -- in the United States and other countries. Its main wireless devices include the iPad and iPhone.

Apple has scored preliminary injunctions against some Samsung products in Germany and the Netherlands, and is seeking to block sales of Samsung models in the United States, the key smartphone battleground.

"Motorola Mobility's patented technologies are increasingly important for innovation within the wireless and communications industries," Motorola said in a statement in response to the German ruling.

"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."

(Reporting by Poornima Gupta)

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Comments (1)
jmmx wrote:
It should be noted that Apple did not defend itself in this preliminary round.

Also, at least one if not both of the patents in question are wireless standards that are part of FRAND licensing that limits MMI’s ability to wield them unfairly. In a separate case, the EU is looking into Apple’s allegations that Samsung is illegally asserting its FRAND encumbered patents.

Nov 07, 2011 1:59pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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