Bloomberg News

Motorola Mobility Wins German Patent Ruling Against Apple

December 12, 2011

(Updates with Motorola Mobility comment in fifth paragraph.)

Dec. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. won a German patent ruling against Apple Inc. today that may be used to block iPad and iPhone sales in a dispute over technology used in the products.

The court in Mannheim found Apple infringed one of Motorola Mobility’s cellular-communications patents, granting an injunction and declaring Apple, in principle, liable for damages.

“We’re going to appeal the court’s ruling right away,” said Alan Hely, a London spokesman for Cupertino, California- based Apple, in an e-mail. “Holiday shoppers in Germany should have no problem finding the iPad or iPhone they want.”

There are several patent cases pending in Mannheim between Libertyville, Illinois-based Motorola Mobility and Apple. The iPad maker said at a hearing in a related case on Nov. 18 that it may face as much as 2 billion euros ($2.7 billion) in lost sales if the court rules in favor of Motorola Mobility.

Motorola Mobility has “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,” General Counsel Scott Offer said in an e-mailed statement.

Motorola Mobility can enforce today’s decision during an appeal only if it posts a bond of 100 million euros, according to the ruling. That figure usually reflects the potential damage the court thinks enforcing a ruling could cause to the loser. It can take several weeks to enforce a patent verdict and parties rarely enforce rulings while an appeal is pending.

The decision was reported earlier today by Florian Mueller on his patent blog.

--Editors: Heather Smith, Christopher Scinta

To contact the reporter on this story: Karin Matussek in Berlin at kmatussek@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net


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