German court issues injunction against iOS devices, Apple to appeal

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A German court on Friday ruled that Apple’s iPhone and iPad devices infringe a Motorola patent and issued an injunction against sales of the products in Germany, in the latest move in a long series of legal battles between the companies.

The Mannheim Regional Court also ruled that Motorola is entitled to a damages award. The ruling is against Apple’s European sales company and only impacts products sold in Germany.

However, Apple can appeal the ruling, requesting a stay of the injunction in the meantime, according to Florian Mueller, who has been closely following patent lawsuits in the mobile industry. Mueller is a patent expert who sometimes does consulting work for companies including Microsoft.

Apple did not reply to a request for comment about its intentions, though it told All Things Digital the company was planning to fight the decision. “We’re going to appeal the court’s ruling right away,” according to the spokesperson. “Holiday shoppers in Germany should have no problem finding the iPad or iPhone they want.”

Should Apple make the appeal but the court decline the stay, Motorola must post a €100 million ($134 million) bond before the court will enforce the injunction, Mueller said. He posted the ruling, issued in German, on his blog.

This battle—one of several ongoing between the companies around the world—is over a Motorola patent that is essential to GPRS, a radio communication standard. Motorola has been negotiating with Apple since 2007 over a license to the technology, according to the company. “We will continue our efforts to resolve our patent dispute as soon as practicable,” Motorola said in a statement.

This injunction follows a preliminary injunction issued against Apple by the same court last month related to the GPRS patent and another. That judgment is scheduled to be reviewed by the German court in February, according to Mueller.

Other legal battles between the companies include a suit Apple filed in Germany over Motorola’s Xoom, complaints both companies have brought against each other in the U.S. International Trade Commission, and U.S. court lawsuits over phone technologies.

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