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Apple allows Motorola Mobility to win default German injunction over iPhone

post #1 of 100
Thread Starter 
Apple has opted to allow Motorola Mobility to win a default judgment in a German patent case, but the injunction will apparently have no immediate effect on the company because it sells its devices in the country through a separate local organization [updated with Apple statement].

Update: Apple has responded with the following statement: "This is a procedural issue that has nothing to do with the merits of the case. This does not affect our ability to sell products or do business in Germany at this time." The Verge reports that Motorola had filed two separate suits against Apple Inc. and Apple Germany. The iPhone maker apparently let the Apple Inc. complaint slide because it doesn't sell any products under that organization.

According to a report by FOSS Patents blogger Florian Mueller, having failed to meet a deadline for answering a complaint, Apple has accepted a default judgement it can now appeal.

Had Apple not accepted the default judgement, any evidence it presented late would not be admissible. As it stands, Apple can now present its evidence in an appeal. However, the default judgement finds Apple infringing two patents and grants Motorola Mobility an injunction against sales of infringing products.

"it's really strange that Apple plays this kind of game instead of presenting its arguments and evidence on a timely basis," Mueller wrote. "I'd really like to know why they didn't do that instead of letting Motorola Mobility win an injunction."

According to Mueller, the two European patents are equivalent to two US patents Motorola is arguing against Apple here in the US, and at least one of the two is a FRAND licensed patent declared essential to implementing GSM/3G technologies.

Apple has argued that by using standards-related patents to "harm or eliminate competition," Motorola and Samsung are seeking to gain an illegal monopoly.

Apple's own patents relate to designs or technical inventions that competitors can simply engineer around. In contrast, FRAND licensed patents are essential to making products that work on mobile networks or with industry standards such as WiFi, making them impossible to work around.

For this reason, governments grant anti-trust exceptions to companies that contribute their patents to such open industry standards, with the understanding that those companies won't use their intellectual property to kill competition and harm consumers.

It's not clear whether Motorola would try to enforce an injunction against Apple's mobile products in Germany, given the potential consequences of using FRAND patents as weapons, particularly in Europe where both Intel and Microsoft were fined over $1.3 billion each by the European Commission for anticompetitive behavior.

The EC is already conducting an investigation of Samsung's behavior in using the courts to pursue FRAND licensed patent cases against Apple.
post #2 of 100
It's a Twap!

by having this injunction served against them, they can demonstrate anti-competitive activity and go after google.

a booty twap.
post #3 of 100
Maybe those patents are related to of the shelves parts used in the products, and can`t be used against Apple at all.
post #4 of 100
The forbidden fruit doesn't just fall

it flows with the forces

its taste is deadly you have been warned!
post #5 of 100
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Originally Posted by MMTM1983 View Post

you have been warned!

Warned by emoticons. There's something we should all take to heart...
post #6 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


Apple has argued that by using standards-related patents to "harm or eliminate competition," Motorola and Samsung are seeking to gain an illegal monopoly.

Um, isn't that basically Apple's entire strategy with all these lawsuits? Sounds a bit like the "swipe to unlock" pot calling the kettle black?
post #7 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cash907 View Post

Um, isn't that basically Apple's entire strategy with all these lawsuits? Sounds a bit like the "swipe to unlock" pot calling the kettle black?

Except swipe to unlock is neither FRAND nor harmful to competition.

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post #8 of 100
The equivalent of taking their football and going home.

and by the way, I love the headlines you guys come up with. They all read the same, as if at the end of each one it states "doesn't matter, Apple is still better".
post #9 of 100
We don't know about the second patent but one of the two patents is FRAND related and the EU commission just started to investigate on Samsung using FRAND patents against competitors.

Apple surely didn't let this deadline pass without having some strategy. The can now appeal the decision and make Motorola (or should we rather call them Google now ?) a subject of EU investigation. Things like these made Microsoft pay some billions in fines in Europe some years ago.

Further, if the ban has to be lifted later on, Moto has to pay damage compensations to Apple. Can Motorola afford this ? Moto is betting BILLIONS of dollars with that action, can they stem that ?

Rather looks like Moto has just committed suicide and Apple was targeting to abandon the Google/Motorola merger last minute or making Google purchasing a cadaver.

Greetings from currently iPhone-less Germany...
post #10 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Except swipe to unlock is neither FRAND nor harmful to competition.

Exactly.

Any patents related to LTE, UMTS or GSM are critical and FRAND. You simply can't build a wireless network and then wait 20 years for phones to use it. By then the technology will have advanced and the old technology will be long dead.

As it is Qualcomm is pretty much the only manufacturer of 3G radios and they own all the CDMA patents, the earliest the IS-95 cdmaONE patents expire is in 2015. GSM's early patents have already expired, but the GPRS, EDGE, and everything later are still under patent protection.

If you wanted to sell a non-infringing-on-patents handset without licencing any radio patents, you'd be stuck with a GSM voice-only phone. Good luck selling such a nerfed phone.
post #11 of 100
One of the patents is FRAND? And Motorola just got that upheld in court?

Guess the EC will be investigating Motorola as well now. I'm thinking that Motorola just overplayed their hand and scored a massive home goal.

Any enforcement of an injunction against using FRAND patents are surely going to weigh heavily against them.
post #12 of 100
By gaining the injunction, Motorola have indulged in anti-competitive behaviour, meaning Google has indulged in anti-competitive behaviour since they own Motorola now. If they try to enforce the injunction, they may even lose the ability to operate in Europe (worst case) but a huge fine as has been suggested already is more likely.

Looks like Apple are playing a clever game here. Their patents are not FRAND, and have been infringed; Samsung clearly looks like it doesn't understand what patents are, coming from a part of the world where copying and pirates have operated for centuries, and seems confused between patents for FRAND and non-FRAND patents.

Looks like Apple could get both Samsung and Motorola into long arguments with the authorities in both the US and in Europe. Or perhaps that should be, Motorola and Samsung have put themselves in a position where they are making themselves extremely vulnerable. You don't need to employ clever people to copy other people's original ideas but you do need them to act in court for you.

Apple has both: clever people to invent new ideas, and clever people to represent them in court.
post #13 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by iCarbon View Post

It's a Twap!

by having this injunction served against them, they can demonstrate anti-competitive activity and go after google.

a booty twap.

HaHa beat me to it. This is like the classic war move of giving ground to the enemy, only for the enemy to realise they're on muddy ground and you've got the high ground. Easy pickings then.
post #14 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cash907 View Post

Um, isn't that basically Apple's entire strategy with all these lawsuits? Sounds a bit like the "swipe to unlock" pot calling the kettle black?

So, by not answering the claim, the pot is calling the kettle black? Right, okay...

Quote:
Originally Posted by tinman0 View Post

One of the patents is FRAND? And Motorola just got that upheld in court?

Guess the EC will be investigating Motorola as well now....

Wasn't contested in court...
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post #15 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cash907 View Post

Um, isn't that basically Apple's entire strategy with all these lawsuits? Sounds a bit like the "swipe to unlock" pot calling the kettle black?

Apple's entire strategy with all these lawsuits is to force other OEMs and OS developers into innovating in their own ways and stop aping all of Apple's original ideas and designs.

A work-around for "swipe to unlock" would be to use a hardware switch as was done before the iPhone patent was submitted. As with the iPod, Apple created a new way of doing something that no one else thought of; instead of up/down buttons to scroll through lists, they put a scroll wheel on it and also added auto acceleration when traversing through large lists.

Furthermore, Apple cannot remove technology built into 3G chips put there by the manufacturers who made the 3G radios and that may be required to use 3G networks.
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post #16 of 100
Almost every other tech site existent reports that Motorola WON this injunction, but leave to to AI/DED to translate that into "Apple allows Motorola Mobility to win".

Talk about being trapped in Apple's RDF.
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post #17 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post

Apple's entire strategy with all these lawsuits is to force other OEMs and OS developers into innovating in their own ways and stop aping all of Apple's original ideas and designs.

A work-around for "swipe to unlock" would be to use a hardware switch as was done before the iPhone patent was submitted. As with the iPod, Apple created a new way of doing something that no one else thought of; instead of up/down buttons to scroll through lists, they put a scroll wheel on it and also added auto acceleration when traversing through large lists.

Furthermore, Apple cannot remove technology built into 3G chips put there by the manufacturers who made the 3G radios and that may be required to use 3G networks.

You're missing the part where Apple didn't come up with the idea of "swipe to unlock"
post #18 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post

Almost every other tech site existent reports that Motorola WON this injunction, but leave to to AI/DED to translate that into "Apple allows Motorola Mobility to win".

Talk about being trapped in Apple's RDF.

Oh no..... you're back. I thought you'd gone away. \
post #19 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Oh no..... you're back. I thought you'd gone away. \

I like to pretend he had an older account here and this is the second iteration thereof once that one got banned.

You know, with all the creativity of a series of Bruce Willis movie titles.

'Course that's not the case, but there WAS a final member to the trilogy already.

Originally posted by Relic

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Originally posted by Relic

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post #20 of 100
I won't believe a thing that this Florian Mueller guy said, he obviously has an agenda on everything he's writing. I'd rather wait for those official news sources to confirm this first.
post #21 of 100
Anyone know how the German law system works?

In my country (that is near Germany) the first instance in court have a majority of non juridical persons that decide the outcome of the trial. (2 "judges" and 3 "people elected" persons)
At the second instance there are more juridical persons then non juridical persons. (3 "judges" and 2 "people elected persons"). Many therefore loose first instance on default since they want juridical persons decide the judgment, not "people elected persons" without law degree.
post #22 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Menno View Post

You're missing the part where Apple didn't come up with the idea of "swipe to unlock"

Who cares if Apple have the patent.
The other companies could use another way to open the devices like Android 4 face detection. (love how you can open the phones with a photo).

Swipe upwards. Swipe sideways.
But the other companies are so un innovative that they have to use the exact same gesture.

Use stylus and hard keyboards. You know: the stuff before iPhone.

BTW. Isn't it strange that 9 Android vendors pays protection fee's to MSFT? 5-15 dollar per device. Why should they do that if they did not know that they are breaking Apple patents?

(I would love to find out how some Android vendors don't have to pay protection fees, like old Sony Ericsson)
post #23 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by shompa View Post

Anyone know how the German law system works?

In my country (that is near Germany) the first instance in court have a majority of non juridical persons that decide the outcome of the trial. (2 "judges" and 3 "people elected" persons)
At the second instance there are more juridical persons then non juridical persons. (3 "judges" and 2 "people elected persons"). Many therefore loose first instance on default since they want juridical persons decide the judgment, not "people elected persons" without law degree.

I don't know how the German system works, but I can say that something hinges on the particular of their system. It clearly is not as trivial as it sounds - and wouldn't even make sense in the U.S.

In the U.S., for example, you can not introduce new evidence in an appeal. If Apple was unable to get the initial evidence admitted, they would not be able to introduce it on appeal. Their only hope would be to have it sent back to the original court and try introducing the evidence again (which is no advantage over doing it in the first place). The fact that they are (allegedly) planning to introduce new evidence on appeal suggests that the German system is very different than the U.S. system, so there's no point in anyone not familiar with the German system commenting at all.

If the German system is similar to what you're describing, then I could understand the strategy. But I'm not going to comment until someone who understands the German system explains the entire situation.
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post #24 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cash907 View Post

Um, isn't that basically Apple's entire strategy with all these lawsuits? Sounds a bit like the "swipe to unlock" pot calling the kettle black?

No. The difference is that swipe to unlock is not essential to making competing smartphones. Competitors don't have to implement swipe to unlock in order to sell their products. They could use all sorts of other "unlock" methods. Protecting swipe to unlock does not prevent competitors from making a perfectly functional phone.

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post #25 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cash907 View Post

Um, isn't that basically Apple's entire strategy with all these lawsuits? Sounds a bit like the "swipe to unlock" pot calling the kettle black?

Nope. Because there are numerous ways to unlock a phone without any swiping.

But these patents are vital to actually having cellular function on the device. Which is why they are or should be FRAND items

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post #26 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post

Almost every other tech site existent reports that Motorola WON this injunction, but leave to to AI/DED to translate that into "Apple allows Motorola Mobility to win".

Talk about being trapped in Apple's RDF.

If you actually *read* the article, then you'd realize this headline is more correct, as Apple did not contest the judgement; a judgement by default is a technicality, not a "win" in the usual sense of the word.
post #27 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pendergast View Post

If you actually *read* the article, then you'd realize this headline is more correct, as Apple did not contest the judgement; a judgement by default is a technicality, not a "win" in the usual sense of the word.

He also forgot to clarify "almost every other tech site that I like to visit..."

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post #28 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post

Almost every other tech site existent reports that Motorola WON this injunction, but leave to to AI/DED to translate that into "Apple allows Motorola Mobility to win".

Talk about being trapped in Apple's RDF.

Read the article, then do a bit of digging around if you're really interested...

Apple operates as a subsidiary (Apple Germany) who actually does the selling of products. Apple, Inc. is just the parent company that does not have any products in Germany. Motorola filed suits against both, with Apple Germany aggressively defending while Apple, Inc. simply let the deadline pass resulting in a default judgement.

Since they haven't defended or entered any evidence, they will have the opportunity to appeal and fully defend it in the future should they wish to do so. Meanwhile, Apple Germany is defending. I would assume it comes down to a matter of resource allocation. They just didn't have a need to defend Apple, Inc., so why not just put their focus on Apple Germany?

Confusing, I know. Too many articles and blogs reporting (copying) one another so all you probably saw was that Motorola won an injunction against Apple.
post #29 of 100
IMO I think it was smart for Apple to not go through the time and expense that would be required to respond to something that is not relevant to them selling product in Germany. By not responding MM has to at least file another lawsuit which will cost MM more money to do. Smart move Apple!

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post #30 of 100
Your comments suggest you don't understand the difference between the lawsuits. No it is not Apple strategy. FRAND patents are patents that a patent holder willing gave up for use by any member of a standard body under Free Reasonable And Non Discriminatory terms. Motorola and Samsung are suing Apple over 3G related FRAND patents. They cannot deny Apple the right to use those patents because they made the patents available to all members of the standard body to use under FRAND terms because those companies wanted all competitors to unify amongst a single wireless standard instead of having to create difference standards to compete over. All they can do is ask Apple to pay FRAND terms. By seeking an injunction against Apple based on FRAND patents, Motorola and Samsung are engaging in illegal anti-competitive behavior.

Apple on the other hand holds patents that are not part of a standard body. Apple did not give its patents up to use by all under FRAND terms. Apple's patents are not a necessary part of the 3G standard. Accordingly, Apple is not requires to allow others to use the patents. So Apple can actually sue for an injunction and damages.

The patent you cite is not a FRAND patent necessary to make 3G work. Unlike Motorola's patents, Apple did not give the patent up for others to use.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Cash907 View Post

Um, isn't that basically Apple's entire strategy with all these lawsuits? Sounds a bit like the "swipe to unlock" pot calling the kettle black?
post #31 of 100
That is a good summary. Apple is actually owns a multitude of companies that bear its same name. Both the parent company and subsidiary were being sued for an injunction. As you say, Apple the parent company distributes no products in Germany so an injunction does not effect it. The subsidiary distributes the products. As such, it makes little sense to spend a lot of time defending the corporate entity that doesn't distribute products. Apple only cares about its products being allowed to be sold in Germany, which for all practical purposes they will still be sold.

Quote:
Originally Posted by neosum View Post

Read the article, then do a bit of digging around if you're really interested...

Apple operates as a subsidiary (Apple Germany) who actually does the selling of products. Apple, Inc. is just the parent company that does not have any products in Germany. Motorola filed suits against both, with Apple Germany aggressively defending while Apple, Inc. simply let the deadline pass resulting in a default judgement.

Since they haven't defended or entered any evidence, they will have the opportunity to appeal and fully defend it in the future should they wish to do so. Meanwhile, Apple Germany is defending. I would assume it comes down to a matter of resource allocation. They just didn't have a need to defend Apple, Inc., so why not just put their focus on Apple Germany?

Confusing, I know. Too many articles and blogs reporting (copying) one another so all you probably saw was that Motorola won an injunction against Apple.
post #32 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post

Almost every other tech site existent reports that Motorola WON this injunction, but leave to to AI/DED to translate that into "Apple allows Motorola Mobility to win".

Talk about being trapped in Apple's RDF.

Since there was nothing to be gained or lost by responding. Apple gave MM a hollow victory because the suit did and does not affect Apple's sales at all.

ps. added to troll ignore list

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post #33 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Misa View Post

As it is Qualcomm is pretty much the only manufacturer of 3G radios and they own all the CDMA patents, the earliest the IS-95 cdmaONE patents expire is in 2015. GSM's early patents have already expired, but the GPRS, EDGE, and everything later are still under patent protection.

Qualcomm does not own all the CDMA patents, a vast number of companies own CDMA based patents
post #34 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by SwissMac2 View Post

By gaining the injunction, Motorola have indulged in anti-competitive behaviour, meaning Google has indulged in anti-competitive behaviour since they own Motorola now. If they try to enforce the injunction, they may even lose the ability to operate in Europe (worst case) but a huge fine as has been suggested already is more likely.

Looks like Apple are playing a clever game here. Their patents are not FRAND, and have been infringed; Samsung clearly looks like it doesn't understand what patents are, coming from a part of the world where copying and pirates have operated for centuries, and seems confused between patents for FRAND and non-FRAND patents.

Looks like Apple could get both Samsung and Motorola into long arguments with the authorities in both the US and in Europe. Or perhaps that should be, Motorola and Samsung have put themselves in a position where they are making themselves extremely vulnerable. You don't need to employ clever people to copy other people's original ideas but you do need them to act in court for you.

Apple has both: clever people to invent new ideas, and clever people to represent them in court.

Since when did google own Motorola Mobility. I know they are in the process of purchasing MM at the moment. But it is BAU until the deal goes through.
post #35 of 100
Gotta love how this article is titles.

How it actually is: German court grants injunction against Apple for infringement of Motorola patents

Yeah, because you know, Apple "allowed" the court to make that decision.

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post #36 of 100
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post #37 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post

Almost every other tech site existent reports that Motorola WON this injunction, but leave to to AI/DED to translate that into "Apple allows Motorola Mobility to win".

Talk about being trapped in Apple's RDF.

Oh yay, your back. I guess we can look forward to you posting something negative early and often in all the threads. And then brag about all your electronics complete with pictures.

Ladies and gentlemen children of all ages...Welcome to the DaHarder show.
post #38 of 100
"Apple has argued that by using standards-related patents to "harm or eliminate competition," Motorola and Samsung are seeking to gain an illegal monopoly."

The other Apple and namely the Beatles were obviously influenced by Buddy Holly.

It is certainly not sweet music when the computer industry tries to stamp out creativity.
post #39 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by SwissMac2 View Post

Samsung clearly looks like it doesn't understand what patents are, coming from a part of the world where copying and pirates have operated for centuries, and seems confused between patents for FRAND and non-FRAND patents.

I think that is poor judgement (and argument) on your part.

I don't like Samsung products but would hardly call them pirates -- Samsung actually has legitimate patents registered across the world, and most of its tech is developed in-house. You could almost build a Samsung-house where almost all your electrical/electronic stuff is Samsung built and branded. In fact, a lot of stuff you don't see is made by Samsung, like the insides of iPhones & iPads.

Calling Samsung pirates because it is based in a part of the world where pirates have operated for centuries is very much a generalisation, wouldn't win any debates and, at worst, could be seen to be xenophobic.

Samsung hires lawyers, a lot of them happen to be white westerners and these are the people who submit cases on behalf of the company. These westerner lawyers are the ones at fault for giving bad advice and wasting court time. They may think that sustained attacks on Apple will wear the company down and force it to the negotiating table, thereby giving every Tom, Dick & Harriet and their uncle free reign to use Apple's patented tech in their products.

I can't see that happening in the foreseeable future...
post #40 of 100
One unusual element in this situation is Florian Mueller's take. He is unfailingly pro-Apple in his blog, and interprets almost every development as an Apple win. Yet he seems to be suggesting this is not as hollow a MMI victory as others imply. His rationalization is not quite rigorous to me. But then, I am no German patent lawyer. On the other hand, neither is he.

The most interesting part of this saga, which is not mentioned in this article, is the fact that Apple actually issued an official response. They have so far rarely made official statements about all the legal proceedings except for the odd utterance by Jobs or an answer or two during earnings calls. So this official statement may well be a first? This is either a change in policy by Cook, or perhaps Apple does not want to allow Googorola to have so much as a moral victory.
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