Motorola suffered a setback today in its ongoing battle with Apple in Germany over the use of 3G patents.
Apple and Motorola have been locked in a battle over the Cupertino-based company’s use of 3G technology in some of its devices in Germany. Late last year Motorola Mobility won an injunction against Apple that would see it having to stop sales of the cellular version of the iPad as well as all iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 models. They enforced the injunction in early February, but the ban only lasted a few hours before Apple was able to file an appeal. Now Apple has managed to get a further delay in any enforcement thanks to the ruling of the appeals court.
FOSS Patents is reporting that the upper court has put a delay on the injunction being used while the appeal is ongoing:
The Karlsruhe Higher Regional Court (“Oberlandesgericht Karlsruhe”), the appeals court within whose circuit the Mannheim Regional Court is based, decided today that Motorola Mobility is barred from further enforcement of its standard-essential patent injunction against Apple in Germany at least for the duration of the ongoing appeal (which I believe will take a year, if not more). And while today’s decision is only a summary and preliminary decision that MMI could overturn during the course of the full-blown appellate proceedings, this indicates that Apple’s appeal is highly likely to succeed — and even if it didn’t, Apple could realistically resolve the problem with limited additional concessions.
It appears that Apple has now been able to convince the German courts that it has made good-faith efforts to license the 3G patents from Motorola under the FRAND (fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory) terms for what are considered industry standards. Apple has claimed for some time that Motorola was asking for far too much for the use of the patents, and that it has never tried to skate by on paying, it just wanted a more reasonable fee.
The new ruling from the Karlsruhe Higher Regional Court certainly makes it sound like things are looking up for Apple in Germany, but only time will tell.
[via FOSS Patents]