July 18, 2012
Apple Unsuccessful In Attempts To Ban Motorola Xoom Tablet
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
A German Judge has just denied Apple´s request to ban the sale of the Motorola Xoom in Europe, the latest ruling in Apple´s international legal fight against Android smartphone and tablet makers. Though the court denied Apple their requested ban on the Motorola tablets, they also refused Motorola's request to declare Apple´s community design rights to the iPad invalid.
Apple originally sought a ban on the Xoom tablet, saying it infringed on 3 of their community design rights, rights which protect intellectual property of products sold in Europe. Andreas Vitek, a spokesperson for the Dusseldorf court, said the judge decided the Motorola Xoom does not resemble the iPad enough to impart a ban on the device, according to PC World.
While Apple had complained about the design stylings of the Xoom tablet, Motorola had filed a counter claim against the Cupertino company, saying their community design claims were invalid. Both companies walked away from their day in court with a loss, though Apple was asked to pay two-thirds of the litigation bill. Motorola only had to pay one-third of the bill, though Vitek did not specify how much each company was responsible for.
Apple had filed their suit against the Xoom tablet shortly after the Regional Court of Dusseldorf blocked the sale and import of Samsung´s Galaxy Tab 10.1 from the European Union.
Apple and Google´s Motorola have been fighting in courtrooms around the globe for months now. Most recently, Illinois US District Court Judge Richard Posner threw out the case between the two companies with prejudice, removing any opportunity for the two to sue one another over these claims.
In the Illinois case, Motorola had sued Apple for their use of one of Motorola´s FRAND patents concerning 3G connectivity. Just as in Dusseldorf, Apple sued Motorola for designing their products to look like the iPad.
Several days later, an ITC court said they would review an earlier preliminary ruling which found Apple guilty of infringing upon Motorola´s 3G patent. Judge Thomas B. Pender had ruled in April that Apple was guilty of patent infringement by selling their 3G enabled iPads and iPhones. The ITC is currently reviewing this ruling and will have a final verdict in late August.
Should the ITC rule in favor of Google´s Motorola, a ban could be placed on any Apple product which uses the 3G FRAND patents in question.
Apple isn´t the only company Google-owned Motorola is going after for their use of their FRAND patents. Microsoft is also being sued by Motorola for the use of FRAND patents in their Xbox 360 gaming console. After Judge Richard Posner threw out the case of Apple and Motorola, Microsoft asked the ITC to review the case, filing for a partial termination of the investigation.
In Dusseldorf, both Apple and Motorola now have 30 days to appeal the Judge´s verdict to a higher court, should they want to continue the patent fight.
While Apple is usually the first to go after other companies for patent infringement, Motorola started the fight in the ITC court, saying Apple infringed on their 3G patents.