Apple: Motorola Patent Win Won’t Keep iPhones From German Holiday Shoppers
Motorola Mobility scored a victory in its ongoing intellectual property battle with Apple today, when the Mannheim Regional Court granted it an injunction banning the import of iPhones and 3G-capable iPads into Germany.
It’s a definite win for Motorola, particularly if Apple is unable to secure a stay of the injunction during appeal. That said, it may not be quite as bad for Cupertino as it seems. It’s certainly not going to keep the company’s iOS devices out of the single largest market in the EU over the holidays.
Why? Even if Motorola decides to bear the risk of enforcing a ruling that might be overturned later, the injunction applies to the importation of new iOS device shipments. It doesn’t apply to existing inventory. And sources say Apple has plenty of iPhones and iPads on hand in Germany already — enough that it’s not too concerned about losing out on the Christmas consumer binge there. The company even says as much in the brief statement it issued on the matter today.
“We’re going to appeal the court’s ruling right away,” an Apple spokesperson told AllThingsD. “Holiday shoppers in Germany should have no problem finding the iPad or iPhone they want.”
But what about after the holidays, when that inventory begins to run out?
Again, Apple’s fate largely depends on whether it’s able to stay the injunction pending appeal, assuming Motorola attempts to enforce it. Beyond that, there’s the validity of the two 3G patents at issue in the case, and whether or not they are standards-essential and subject to fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory licensing terms. More on that over at FOSS Patents.