There are all sorts of appropriately snarky comments one could place here. But we’ll stick to the facts, ma’am, just the facts: FOSS Patents reports that Motorola Mobility has been granted a preliminary sales injunction against Apple in Germany, based on one of its wireless communications patents. Unless Apple can get the ruling overturned or stayed, it may face a sales ban on the iPhone and iPad in that country.
It isn’t overly likely that the ban will be put into place. For one, Motorola would need to post a 100 million Euro bond if it wants to hold up the sales injunction. Moreover, these decisions are often overturned on appeal, as we saw with Apple’s case against Samsung in Australia. But weaknesses in Apple’s historically crack legal team are starting to show: the sales injunction against Samsung in Australia was overturned, the company failed to secure an injunction against the same company in the US, and now Motorola’s found a weakness in their patent portfolio in Germany, where a sales ban on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is still in place. When Samsung introduced a revised Galaxy 10.1N model, specifically designed to avoid infringement on Apple’s patents, Apple promptly filed suit on the new version.
I’m a die-hard Android fanboy, but that doesn’t mean I want Germans, or anyone for that matter, to be denied the choice of Apple products. The worldwide patent wars are getting ridiculous – IPCom, considered a patent troll even by corporate standards, has won a preliminary injunction against HTC that could force the company to exit Germany completely. There’s clearly something rotten in Deutschland when it comes to the world of intellectual property, and in the end consumers get the raw deal. If anything positive comes out of all this, it’ll be that Apple begins to think twice about firing patent lawsuits from the hip. It’s likely that if they can’t get today’s German ruling overturned, the case will be settled with Apple licensing the relevant patent from Motorola for lots (and lots and lots) of money.