Apple Found Guilty Of Violating Motorola Patents In Germany – Apple Ban Soon To Follow?


I didn’t see this coming. Giving Apple a little taste of their own medicine it seems that Motorola has won an injunction against Apple for patent infringement in Germany. The ruling came from a Mannheim Regional Court barring the sale of any Apple device that infringes on two of Motorola Mobility’s 2003 patents. The 1st Apple violating patent is related to GSM, UMTS and 3G — while the 2nd is a little more unclear. What’s more is Motorola is actually owed for past damages as well. Motorola released this statement:

“As media and mobility continue to converge, Motorola Mobility’s patented technologies are increasingly important for innovation within the wireless and communications industries, for which Motorola Mobility has developed an industry leading intellectual property portfolio. 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.”

This comes as a total role reversal as it’s usually Apple on the prowl looking to bring down their competition with ridiculous patent infringement claims. With the big holiday season fast approaching us, this could be a huge win for Motorola, Android and Google. We’ll keep you updated as we learn more.

So, Apple…. how do you like them apples?

[Via FOSSPatents]

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. Well looks like it wasnt a good week for apple the 2nd loss they took after the other tablet patent they lost in swedish court or wherever it was

  2. Let me be the first to say BBUUUUUUUUUHAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. take that apple.

    1. Looks like you don’t fully understand what has occurred. It was a default decision because Apple, Inc. didn’t respond to Motorola’s suit in time. It wasn’t based on the merits of the case, as Apple said in its response. Here’s a run down. Apple functions as two entities in Germany, Apple, Inc. and Apple Germany. Motorola sued both. Apple Germany sells Apple products in Germany and Apple, Inc doesn’t. Apple, Inc. didn’t respond to the suit and plans an appeal. However, Apple Germany’s case will proceed normally. Since Apple, Inc. didn’t respond to Motorola’s suit in time, any late evidence would not have been admissible. Apple, Inc. accepted the injunction so the evidence would be admissible during the appeals. Some are theorizing that Apple missed the deadline deliberately as a strategy. If Motorola enforces the injunction and one or more of the patents fall under FRAND, this would have hugh implications and they would face fines from the European Commission plus damages paid to Apple for the injunction. I don’t think  Motorola has that kind of cash. It is for these reasons Motorola is unlikely to enforce the injunction. Good move by Apple.  

      1. Who’s Hugh, and what are his implications?

        1. Sorry, I meant huge.

  3. All I can say is WOW.What goes around comes around.So this was filed around the time the first iphone came.There is a message in Motorola’s statement – and that is innovating, something apple should be focusing on instead of using their money to sue. Samsung will be having a great weekend.

  4. It was spain….ola

    1. It’s.. hypnotizing O_O

  5. I love how no android company sues each other, let’s get rid of apple guys! eff you I will eat my orange.

    1. That’s because the “android companies” play by the spirit of the game. Apple refused to play everyone else’s game and therefore is basically a rogue – which is as Jobs wanted. Unfortunately, if you’re a rogue, you get dealt with as such.

      1. Not quite correct, no one was worried about wasn’t playing by the rules and going rogue……..But once apple started to sue everyone, then everyone turned on apple, not really together cause in the end apple is is suing everyone else!

  6. Haha apple should have left well enough alone. Karma is a %!+@#.

  7. And here’s a video to recap what just happened in the past few months:

    Incoming body slam, Apple.

    1. I really hate that video. Bullying really makes me sad :(

      1. It will also get you piledrived o_O

  8. Yes take that crApple

  9. I’ve just been banned PERMANENTLY by Engadget for saying this is a good result for Google & Android.

    1. WOW, oh didn’t think Engadget is that biased. Apple deserves this, they were the ones starting with these patent infringement suits, all that happened today was Apple tasting their own medecine.

    2. Welcome to the club. ive been perma banned on over 5 accounts (that  number is not an exaggeration)

    3. Engadget has gone to crap since the 4S was released, they deleted a ton of my comments there when I called them out on how many Siri articles were getting published.  Think I’ll go look for that article you were banned over, the ifanboy comments should be interesting reading.

      1. Now that The Verge is up and running I find myself going there more than Engadget, which is a good thing, got tired of their 100% pro Apple anti Google stance

    4. Yeah, I got banned from them as well. I just removed them from my reader. Honestly, I get all the same news from everywhere else, but at least I don’t feel like I need to censor myself when it comes to Apple’s failures everywhere else.

    5. So, if I’ve got it right…

      Fox News is to Republicans as…
      MSNBC is to Democrats as…
      Engadget is to Apple.

      About right?

      1. Not to defend Engadget, but I think Wired is more in bed with apple than anyone else, So…

        Wired is to Apple

        1. Engadget is to CNN. IE, pretends to be neutral but is really straight up liberal democrats.

    6. I thought I was the only one. I think it was most likely because of a comment I made pointing out that they basically ripped some ICS emulator story from This is My Next and claimed they had so called discovered whatever it was. I said fug em and only went back a couple of times to see that the comment section has almost dried up. 

    7. I was also banned on this account from all i did was defend the pentile screen cause they tried to make the gnex seem like a pos cause of it. I then also removed them from my reader and continue inform everyone to avoid that biased shithole at all costs.

    8. Wow, permanently banned.  I think it’s for the best though.  I just left and never went back.  Josh wrote a column on how it we’re now officially in the post-pc era because of the iPad2.  What a load of drivel that was.  My reply to that was the last time I went there.  Honestly you’re better off. 

  10. Except Apple responded on Engadget with what essentially constitutes a big “Meh”

    Crap, and we thought there would be fireworks

    1. The schoolyard bully’s refrain – you didn’t hurt me!

  11. how you like them apples……




  13. And this is why Google bought Motorola Mobility :)

  14. Hmm.  What goes around comes around.

  15. What’s that? A worm in the Apple?

  16. Tim Cook has a golden opportunity to come out as a good guy and call off the pack of wolves they refer to as lawyers.  Maybe losing two critical cases in a week will wake them up to the point they focus more on innovating instead of litigating.  The big question is how are the large volume stock holders reacting to all this legal warfare now that Apple has started losing ground?

    1. I tried pointing this out on Patently Apple. Even cited what RCA did in the 60s when they invented the LCD. They partnered and cross licensed, everyone was a winner, including the consumers. Apparently, the website owner of Patently Apple is a big “FANBOY” even though he claims he is just reporting the patent news of Apple.

  17. I think Germany should step up and instead of waiting for companies to sue each other, they should ban all tech products once and for all (because we all know every product violates some patents of other companies).
    So… no more smartphones in Germany :P
    Next step would be people voting on a patent system that would allow the use of smartphones in the country again :P
    I’d also like to see M$ being forced to remove windows from any hardware be it computers, smartphones, etc and sell it separately.

  18. Looks like Google isn’t as dumb as Apple fanboys think. This is just a tip of the iceberg, Google, Motorola and the Android OS will use this as a spring board. This is great news for Android. Don’t like all this pissing between the two major Mobile powers but this is what Apple started. Google just sat back and held onto the trump card until just the right time. Great job Google. 

  19. Apparently this actually doesn’t mean anything:

    “Apple, Inc”, who this particular case refers to, doesn’t sell anything in Germany. “Apply Germany” is still fighting their case.

    1. The source article was updated and analyzes that point very well. Well worth reading – as it turns out, it seems that it means a great deal.

      I can’t wait to see this unfold.

  20. An important thing to consider is that this sets precedence. Other countries, including the U.S. can use this case against Apple, so this is more than Motorola vs Apple in Germany, this well could be Motorola vs Apple in the European Union and potentially even the U.S., Asia in general, and elsewhere… Of course, the same goes  for any pro-Apple rulings in their cases against Samsung and HTC…

  21. I +1 this but is this the best course of action? do we beat Apple into submission, find an uneasy truce, or find a way to stop stifling innovation with worthless petty patents.

    Apple is the bully in the school yard, how best to defeat him? IRL you usually just end up moving to a different school or graduate lol. 

    1. Times change. Once upon a time we stood up to bullies to expose them for the dullards they truly are.

      I cower before no man.

      1. Times do change. Bullies now bring a gun to school and shoot you dead. ;)

        1. Touche on the point, but not on the metaphor. ;) :)

  22. Looks like crapple took a bite out of the poison apple afterall. Let the games begin…..

  23. now moto needs to do this in the us and no more iphone

  24. i used to love moto but after my cliq xt i vowed to not purchase another one of their phones but ill see where google takes them this might change my mind

  25. cant they decide to call all these lawsuits bullcrap and just end them all. its getting ridiculous on both sides, even though i love that apple is finally getting what they have been dishing out

    1. they might be bullcrap, but apple is pushing for them to be settled as they think they are going to win! It appears they are not.

      You might see apple change its tune once it looses a few more. Apple has caused many devices to be blocked from sale, ie the samsung galaxy tab 10.1 is blocked from sale in Australia, due to apple.

      Its apple vs everyone which was started by apple suing everyone.

  26. While I don’t doubt it, I am waiting to see this news from a respectable source other than from Florian Microsoft.

    1. Nice way of puttin it.

  27. News Flash – all cell phones barred from sales in all countries due to patent infringement. LOL

  28. Its hilarious to watch iFans all over the internet swear Moto is just going to settle. Now yes if these are the FRAND patents I do believe they have to license them. However it doesn’t state what those terms must be. And if this Google/Moto deal closes then we KNOW what the terms will be. I said from day one the Google/Moto deal was all about these patents and here it goes playing out. If Google plays their cards right the rest of the way the Apple suits on Android OEMs will be a thing of the past. They’ll have to resort to proxy suits the way MS does. 

    Even more hilarious reading The Verge where folks think that just because Apple let one case slide they aren’t infringing on the patents. They very much so are and will be found guilty. Where this would have ended in just simple licensing before the Moto/Google deal it will now end in something much more damaging for Apple….or at least their ego.

  29. Would you guys say the same thing if your long time friend and partner took your own idea and created a copy of it for your competitors? I understand why Apple is seen as evil here but they have their own rights to protect their investment.

    1. If my friend took my idea and created a copy for the competitors, I’d be upset.  but if my friend took an idea that has been around forever, and I just claimed as my own by slapping my name on it (as many of Apple’s patents are), I would have no right to be upset.

      Or if my friend made a tablet that’s square, with a black front, I couldn’t be really upset about it, could I

      1. I’m talking about relationship between Google and Apple. Google sat in Apple’s board, watched all the development, and pulls out of board and creates competing product by stealing the idea. Unfortunately for Apple, all they have are these stupid patents to protect themselves.

        1. That’s one view of events, many believe it to be actually correct – if all we have to go on are biased reports on the mechanics of that, that makes sense.

          But it’s not all we have to go on and industrial history is quite clear.

          Remember, Andy Rubin and his posse were heavy into cell phones with a history of good products _sold worldwide_ before Google bought them and centralized and focused the action into the Android initiative.

          Android was the culmination of the creators of phones long on the market before Apple even thought of making phones. The historical record shows that clearly, and completely refutes the Apple line that it was whipped up in a frenzy of boardroom theft and backstabbing.

          And speaking of protecting intellectual property, lest one be ripped off and their good name and works be dragged down – that is exactly the issue here. Except it’s not about rewriting history until the facts are gone and it hilariously comes out Google stole from Apple. It’s about the simple fact that Apple stole from Motorola.

          1. Andy Rubin’s firm was purchased by Google. Google did not start Android.

          2. So you agree. There was nothing to your claim that Android was a boardroom ripoff of the iPhone.

        2. Just as Steve Jobs did when Xerox invited him to their company. Jobs saw the innovative GUI that Xerox developed and copied it into the Mac OS. So tit for tat.

          1. There you go again. Why do you think Xerox invited Apple to show their work, PARC? Yes, Apple used Xerox idea to build their product, and Xerox did receive compensation for it. In a way, Apple did license Xerox idea. This “Apple-stole-Xerox” idea appears to be the myth apple haters are spreading.

          2. Umm…no…Xerox did not make a cent from Apple “borrowing” their GUI ideas. the only mention of Xerox was Jobs admitting that he lifted their idea in an interview. In Steve Jobs own words in countless interviews he states that Apple has “borrowed” ideas from other sources, competitors and made it their own. Now that other companies are doing the same exact thing as Apple has been doing all along, it’s not right. That’s the definition of a hypocrite. 

          3. dmcman73, Apple offered Xerox to invest in Apple by offering 100,000 shares at pre-IPO price of $10 per share. If you do the math, after several splits and current price of ~$400 per share, the offer looks pretty good. No, they didn’t pay cash for the visit or what they saw during the visit, clearly they did all these to have an opportunity to learn something new.

        3. “Google” sat in Apple’s board…I’m assuming you mean Schmidt.  In Steve’s (Jobs) own words, he HID the iOS work from him, as he knew that Google will be a competitor.  So Google did not copy anything from Apple from those meetings.

          Infact, it was Schmidt that quit the Apple board, when Apple started it’s anti-competitive practices back then by blocking Google Voice form the App Store.

          1. Sounds like you have some inner sources to confirm exactly what happened. Please bring the proof Schmidt quit the board.

            There were a lot more going on than just Google voice and app store. There’s nothing about Iphone that was truly new, but the fact that most others copied what was done right about Iphone is clear to anyone.

          2. Hyperbole, meet facts.

            Hello, facts, you win!

          3. mihaelb, the link you provided does confirm that Eric did not leave Apple’s board on his own only. It was “mutually agreed”, the rest is up to your own interpretation. They hardly reveal exactly what went on behind curtains because it could potentially have harmful effect on either sides’.

  30. Apple lost a huge lawsuit against Microsoft years ago.  They built the Mac on software they got from the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center for nothing, then put a patent on it and sued Microsoft because they used it on Windows.  What is really sickening is the patent law was recently changed to be “first to patent” and not “first to invent” like it has always been.  If that law was in place then, Aoole woulkd have won the lawsuit.  Now it is a horse race to the patent office.

  31. Merry Xmas everybody

  32. While I wouldn’t go as far as saying Apple couldn’t care less, this certainly isn’t a huge blow to them. To start, they can still sell all their products in the country. Second, it’s Germany for God’s sake. Hardly the forefront of Apple’s sales.

    What this does do (and what people seem to be missing) is open up a door to show that Apple isn’t right 100% of the time.

    1. Germany is a significant market in the EU. More than open the door – the bad precedent set in Germany against Samsung (overturned) is still rippling through courts across the world. This is indeed significant.

      1. Significant, yes. Earth shattering, as many people in this thread seem to think, no. Germany alone is but a drop in the bucket in global terms. It remains to be seen how other courts decide.

  33. Here is Nilay’s take on it…

    I would believe Nilay’s analysis over Mueller’s

  34. whoo hoo!  hahahaha!    Apple got served.  Ha!  Revenge is a meal best served cold.

  35. Go Moto, rip off their heads and shit down their necks!!!!!

  36. suck it apple! I bet Steve Jobs is turning in his grave…… too soon?

  37. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah!

    Take that apple your finally getting your comeuppance, as my daddy told me “the screw keeps turning, sometimes it turns slower but everything always comes back to you.”

  38. Time to grind them up and make applesauce

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