Motorola has won against Apple in a German court in a patent infringment case filed against them and now the Apple Online Store in Germany has ceased selling the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and 3G-equipped iPad 2. We’re not entirely sure if this can be considered a victory, probably a minute one, because it only affects the online store and not the retail stores. Technically, every mann and frau can still buy the units in the stores.
Apparently, the Cupertino-based company infringed on Moto’s FRAND-pledged patents which affect 3G/UMTS products being sold via Apple’s online store in Germany. The cost of such a injuction? A €100 million (P5.6 billion) bond to enforce the ruling. Apple uses a Qualcomm chip for its iPhone 4S instead of an Infineon/Intel chip, something that saved the device from the injunction. Apple dodged a close one there and we didn’t even know that Motorola had that much money!
A few hours after the removal, Apple released a statement that it was going to resume sale of the said devices again after they were granted a suspension of the injunction. When Apple would put the products back up online is still unclear. Looks like Steve Jobs is looking out for his brainchild company from beyond the grave.
Kidding aside, Apple has said Motorola refuses to license this patent to Apple on reasonable items, despite having it declared an industry standard patent seven years ago, and Moto fired back that it had been negotiating with Apple and offering “reasonable licensing terms… since 2007.”
Who do we believe? We never thought there’d be so drama involved in technology as well. It’s only a matter of time before someone makes a movie out of this. Someone have Aaron Sorkin (of The Social Network fame) on speed dial?