German Court Grants Apple’s Injunction Against Motorola
In another battle of the patent wars, Apple obtained a favorable ruling over Google…err…Motorola in Germany. FOSS Patents is reporting that the Munich I Regional Court granted Apple’s request for an injunction regarding a slide-to-unlock image patent, EP1964022, on “unlocking a device by performing gestures on an unlock image.” It is a permanent injunction that Apple will be able to enforce at will. According to FOSS Patents, “[t]he court evaluated three different embodiments. Apple won on the two that Motorola’s smartphones implement. It did not prevail on the third one, which the Xoom tablet uses.” Now comes the question of whether Motorola appeals or modifies the offending devices. Chances are Motorola will do both.
U.S. Department of Justice Approves Google’s Acquisition of Motorola
Reuters is reporting that the United States Department of Justice has approved Google’s proposed $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility. Earlier today, the European Commission provided their approval of the deal, which is what probably prompted the Justice Department to announce their approval. “Motorola Mobility’s total commitment to Android has created a natural fit for our two companies,” said Google CEO Larry Page. “Together, we will create amazing user experiences that supercharge the entire Android ecosystem for the benefit of consumers, partners and developers. I look forward to welcoming Motorolans to our family of Googlers.” Page is also said to be very pleased about acquiring “Motorola’s sizable patent portfolio” that will no doubt help Google in the patent wars from rivals such as Apple and Microsoft.
Motorola Offers a Settlement Proposal to Apple
After Apple managed to get Motorola’s “permanent injunction” suspended, a new and interesting twist has occurred in the patent dispute between Apple and Motorola. Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents is reporting that Motorola has offered to end the patent disagreement and license its wireless patents to Apple in exchange for 2.25 percent of Apple’s sales. It is being assumed that the 2.25 percent that Motorola is asking for is from the sales of devices that contain a 3G antenna. Folks, that is an extremely large number. Let me provide you with a quick breakdown: Approximate revenue from iPhone sales since 2007 – $93 billion; Motorola’s cut – $2.1 billion. That doesn’t include iPad sales, which is also part of the demand. Mueller finds the 2.25 percent shakedown “excessive.” In an effort to prove that Motorola’s settlement demand is a tad bit excessive, Apple has filed motions to obtain information from other smartphone vendors – Nokia, HTC, LG, and Sony Ericsson – to find out how much they are paying in royalty fees to Motorola. If it turns out that it is considerably less than what Motorola is demanding from Apple, you can pretty much guess that the judge is not going to be happy.
German Court Issues an Injunction Against Apple; Appeals Court Quickly Suspends the Injunction
German courts have been known to provide quick and swift justice, but this is ridiculous. In their patent battles with Motorola, Apple took a huge hit when a German court issued Friday, what was thought to be permanent, an injunction banning the sales of the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 3G and iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G, upholding a ruling from December. As a result of the injunction, Apple suspended all online sales and removed all iOS devices from its German website. The ban is from Motorola’s claim that Apple’s iOS devices with embedded 3G connectivity infringed upon one of their patents related to UMTS technology. Here is where the fun starts. Apple immediately filed an appeal and a German Appeals Court ruled in Apple’s favor and issued a temporary suspension of the injunction. “All iPad and iPhone models will be back on sale through Apple’s online store in Germany shortly” an Apple spokesperson told SlashGear. “Apple appealed this ruling because Motorola repeatedly refuses to license this patent to Apple on reasonable terms, despite having declared it an industry standard patent seven years ago.” You gotta love the German judicial system.