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Motorola wins case over Apple in Germany

Apple failed to license a wireless patent used in 3G iPads, iPhones

Motorola wins case over Apple in Germany
A German court has rule in favour of Motorola Mobility in a patent dispute with Apple.

A German court has ruled in favour of Motorola Mobility in a patent battle with Apple, according to the BBC.

Motorola had complained that Apple had failed to license one of its wireless intellectual properties used in its iPhones and 3G iPads.

The ruling means that the Android smartphone manufacturer could try to force Apple to remove the feature from its devices, or stop sales in Germany.

Apple intends to appeal the ruling.

"We're going to appeal the court's ruling right away. Holiday shoppers in Germany should have no problem finding the iPad or iPhone they want," Apple told the BBC in a statement.

The German court case revolves around a Motorola patent for ‘a method for performing a countdown function during a mobile-originated transfer for a packet radio system'.

This patent is licensed by Motorola to others on Frand (fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory) terms.

According to the BBC, the owner of a Frand-type patent must license out its technology to third-parties because the invention has been declared to be essential to an industry standard.

Apple lost the case because it attempted to retain the right to contest the validity of the patent with a view to past damages.

Apple tried to do this because Motorola defended its right to charge an above-Frand rate for Apple's use of its technology over the past four years.

This rate could have been much higher than the rate Apple was willing to pay.

Motorola will have to post a $133m bond if it wishes to enforce a sales injunction against Apple, the company welcomed the ruling.

The cash would cover compensation to Apple if the ruling was later overturned.

Apple had offered to pay a Frand-set fee and was willing to pay for past infringements.

"We will continue to take all necessary steps to protect our intellectual property, as the company's patent portfolio and licensing agreements with companies both in the US and around the world are critical to our business," Scott Offer, senior vice-president and general counsel of Motorola Mobility told the BBC.

"We have been negotiating with Apple and offering them reasonable licensing terms and conditions since 2007, and will continue our efforts to resolve our global patent dispute as soon as practicable."

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