German court rules in favor of Motorola in patent infringement lawsuit by Apple

by: Ankit BanerjeeJuly 18, 2012

The world of patents and patent infringement is a complicated one, and the intricacies of these filings are difficult to understand. All we can do is watch and wait for a result that we can comprehend, and that is victory or defeat. Granted, it is not as black and white as “I WIN!! We’re done” with the appeals system, and other numerous infringement lawsuits, which can introduce a whole lot of grey.

I’m sure it’s not surprising to anyone that Apple is involved in over 60% of the patent infringement lawsuits around the world. One such case was a lawsuit Apple filed against Motorola in Germany, in which the Google-owned company was accused of infringing three iPad designs with the Motorola Xoom. In a victory for Motorola, and therefore Google, the judges of the Duesseldorf court, ruled that the Motorola Xoom tablet doesn’t infringe on the iPad.

It always looked like the result was heading in this direction. Back in March during a previous hearing, Judge Johanna Brueckner-Hofmann had said that the evenly bent back and the shaped edges on the front of the Xoom gave the product an individual character. At least this time it isn’t because the device isn’t “cool” enough.

On the downside, a counter-suit from Motorola bringing into question the validity of the iPad’s design patent, was also rejected. A spokesman for the court stated that since both claims were rejected, it ordered both parties to split the costs, albeit unevenly, with Apple required to pay two-thirds and Motorola responsible for the remaining.

I’m sure an appeal of this decision is already in the works, apart from which, Apple is also suing both Motorola and Samsung for a patent infringement related to multi-touch devices, in another German court. Of course, it’s not only Apple that is the root of all these lawsuits, with Android device manufacturers such as HTC, Samsung, and Motorola also suing and counter-suing Apple in a seemingly vicious game of ping-pong.

Granted, there are a lot of financial, intellectual, and legal implications and reasons, but these multiple patent infringement lawsuits flying around, at least for the layman, is a black mark in an otherwise amazing world of mobile technology.

  • melci

    You neglect to mention that Motorola sued Apple first abusing Standards Essential FRAND patents and actually succeeded in having a number of Apple products banned for a while in Germany.

    Likewise, Samsung, HTC and Nokia have all also attempted to abuse standards essential FRAND patents in their litigation against Apple. At least Apple only sues over companies copying things like the slide-to-unlock feature that Apple invented or cloning of Apple’s look and feel which are generally easy to work-around rather than standards essential 3G baseband patents that are supposed to be licensed on Fair Reasonable And Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) terms.

    You also might like to mention that a large percentage of that 60% of *mobile* patent lawsuits are from other companies and patent trolls suing Apple.

    There’s also the fact that Nokia was the one who started the whole patent war when they sued Apple soon after the iPhone launched trying to get access to Apple’s multi-touch GUI patents.

    I certainly agree with you though that all these patent lawsuits are a black mark on the world of tech.

    • Melad360

      lol someones butthurt

      • melci

        Okaaaay, I suppose I shouldn’t neccessarily expect an intelligent response from everyone.

        • Shill_Hunter

          why should a known apple shill expect anything other than to be told to F OFF?

      • Shill_Hunter

        Melci is a known apple shill. He/she spends his time seeking out any article that says anything even slightly negative about apple in order to “set the record straight” and cannot say even the slightest negative against apple in the process. . . . Don’t even bother with that shill.

        • Whereas Mr Shrill is well known for his personal attacks and his inability to comment about the topic at hand. Very sad.

          • Shill_Hunter

            Yes, it is very sad that you have two account (melci & Mel Ci) and feel the need to “correct the word about apple” and be such a shill that it is then necessary for someone to point out what a shill you are — get a life and do something worth while instead of spewing your apple BS!