Can Motorola now block iPhone, iPad sales in Germany? Nope

A German court has sided with Motorola Mobility, granting an injunction against Apple in the country. But it's against Apple Inc. and not Apple's subsidiary that actually sells products within Germany's borders.

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The spat between Motorola Mobility and Apple in Germany just got a little more interesting, with a regional court granting Motorola an injunction against the iPhone and Mac maker.

The judgment does not mean that Apple can be kept from selling its products in the country, since the suit takes aim at Apple Inc. and not the company's local subsidiary in the region.

Intellectual property tracking blog FOSS Patents today posted the default judgment by the Mannheim Regional Court in Germany, which granted Motorola Mobility an injunction against the Mac and iOS device maker for infringing on two of its patents. FOSS Patents' Florian Mueller notes that the ruling does not include any specific Apple products that Motorola was taking aim at.

"We will continue to assert ourselves in the protection of these assets, while also ensuring that our technologies are widely available to end users," said Jennifer Erickson, a Motorola spokesperson, in a statement to CNET. "We hope that we are able to resolve this matter, so we can focus on creating great innovations that benefit the industry."

"This is a procedural issue and has nothing to do with the merits of the case," said Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet in a statement. "It does not affect our ability to do business or sell products in Germany at this time."

The two patents Motorola Mobility targeted in its complaint are both European, one being a "method for performing a countdown function during a mobile-originated transfer for a packet radio system" and the other being a "multiple pager status synchronization system and method." Both have counterparts in the United States that were filed in the 1990s.

A ban on Apple's products in the region could have a dramatic impact on the company's bottom line. Europe was Apple's second biggest market in terms of net sales during its 2011 fiscal year, second only to the United States, with Germany making up the majority of mobile-phone subscribers for the entire region.

Updated at 5:40 p.m. with comment from both companies and additional details about the decision.

 

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