Motorola Mobility patent wounds Apple's German sales

 

Patent row could impact iPhone, iPad sales.

Motorola Mobility has won a preliminary injunction against Apple in Germany, which at worse could bar the sales of iPhones and iPads in the European powerhouse.

A regional German court in Mannheim ruled on Friday that Apple Sales International -- European sales subsidiary of Apple in Cork, Ireland -- must stop selling or distributing mobile devices that infringe certain Motorola patents.

The ruling, which relates to cellular communications patents, could bar the sales of all Apple products that use the patents such as iPhone 4 and iPad 3G, Germany-based patent expert Florian Mueller said.

"The ruling targets Apple's European sales organisation but relates only to that entity's sale to German customers," Mueller added.

Motorola Mobility said it has been negotiating with Apple and offering the company "reasonable licensing terms and conditions since 2007."

Motorola Mobility "will continue our efforts to resolve our global patent dispute as soon as practicable," it said in a statement.

To enforce the injunction, Motorola Mobility has to pay about 100 million euros as bond.

Apple, which has other patent infringement cases pending in Germany, said it plans to appeal.

"We are going to appeal the court ruling right away," Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet said. "Holiday shoppers in Germany should have no problem finding the iPad and iPhone they want."

(Reporting by Poornima Gupta in San Francisco, Maria Sheahan in Frankfurt, editing by Matthew Lewis)


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