Saturday, 10 December 2011
EU-wide sales ban on 3G iPhone and iPad awarded by German Court
Their first act will be to request a stay of the injunction in order to prepare their appeal, an act which will allow the iPhones and iPads affected to remain on the market until the results of the appeal are heard. However, the findings by the court are such that a stay is not automatic and should the preliminary injunction be enforced, Motorola Mobility will be required to pay a 100 million Euro bond as a hedge against harm to Apple should their appeal succeed later. Apple's request for the bond to be set at €2 billion was rejected by the court as manifestly excessive.
An interesting side note to this particular battle is that Google has made an offer to buy Motorola Mobility and should that bid be approved, this will be the first legal battle directly fought by Google (Android) and Apple. Apple's recently deceased founder and long-time CEO Steve Jobs had famously stated his intention to spend his dying breath and Apple's last dollar destroying Android. While it hasn't worked out quite how he would have liked it, it seems that he might well have been delighted at the effort Apple still maintains to carry out his mission.
The nature of this particular Cupertino vs Mountain View skirmish is around patents that Motorola incontrovertibly owns, so the stoush is about Apple using the technology while avoiding paying for it. The iPhone maker argued that it should be allowed to license the patents in question within the FRAND regime but Motorola successfully countered that the damages inflicted by Apple's market success greatly exceed any FRAND licence fee, and in any case, such a licence would not apply to infringements prior to the solution of the court battle currently running.
Whether or not the German court can actually enforce an EU wide ban is open to question. Also, the ban, if applied, will not affect iOS devices that don't include 3G radio capability.