A ruling handed down on Friday by the Mannheim Regional Court in Germany could see sales of Apple’s iOS devices banned across Europe. The judgement relates to a patent infringement complaint filed by Motorola last April, when the company accused Apple of infringing a Motorola-owned patent covering “a method for performing a countdown function during a mobile-originated transfer for a packet radio system.” Friday’s ruling is preliminary, however, and according to Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents, it is only enforceable against Ireland-based Apple subsidiary Apple Sales International. The injunction formally pertains to the iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPad and iPad 2, though the iPhone 4S is likely covered as well. Apple must now remove the infringing functionality from its iOS devices or successfully appeal to Karlsruhe Higher Regional Court in order to avoid the ban.
UPDATE: A press release from Motorola Mobility has been added below.
German Court Rules in Favor of Motorola Mobility in Apple Litigation
Court grants Motorola Mobility’s requests for injunction and damages
LIBERTYVILLE, Ill., Dec. 9, 2011 – Motorola Mobility Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: MMI) (“Motorola Mobility”) today announced that the court in Manheim, Germany (the “Court”) has ruled that Apple’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) European sales company, Ireland-based Apple Sales International, is infringing one of Motorola Mobility’s core cellular communications patents related to data packet transfer technology (GPRS) through its sales of the iPhone and iPad devices. The Court granted Motorola Mobility’s requests for an injunction and damages.
“We are pleased with the court’s ruling. Today’s decision validates Motorola Mobility’s efforts to enforce its patents against Apple’s infringement,” said Scott Offer, senior vice president and general counsel of Motorola Mobility. “Motorola Mobility has worked hard over the years to build an industry-leading intellectual property portfolio that is respected by the telecommunications industry, and we are proud to leverage this portfolio to create differentiated innovations that enhance the user experience. We will continue to take all necessary steps to protect our intellectual property, as the Company’s patent portfolio and licensing agreements with companies both in the U.S. and around the world are critical to our business. We have been negotiating with Apple and offering them reasonable licensing terms and conditions since 2007, and will continue our efforts to resolve our global patent dispute as soon as practicable.”