Apple allows Motorola Mobility to win default German injunction over iPhone

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 99
    icarbonicarbon Posts: 196member
    It's a Twap!



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



    a booty twap.
  • Reply 2 of 99
    Maybe those patents are related to of the shelves parts used in the products, and can`t be used against Apple at all.
  • Reply 3 of 99
    The forbidden fruit doesn't just fall



    it flows with the forces



    its taste is deadly you have been warned!
  • Reply 4 of 99
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MMTM1983 View Post


    you have been warned!



    Warned by emoticons. There's something we should all take to heart...
  • Reply 5 of 99
    cash907cash907 Posts: 893member
    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?
  • Reply 6 of 99
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 99
    bstringbstring Posts: 104member
    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".
  • Reply 8 of 99
    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...
  • Reply 9 of 99
    misamisa Posts: 827member
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 99
    tinman0tinman0 Posts: 168member
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 99
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 99
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 99
    iqatedoiqatedo Posts: 1,586member
    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...
  • Reply 14 of 99
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 1,788member
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 99
    daharderdaharder Posts: 1,580member
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 99
    mennomenno Posts: 854member
    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"
  • Reply 17 of 99
    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. \
  • Reply 18 of 99
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 99
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 99
    shompashompa Posts: 340member
    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.
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