Motorola Mobility landed a big victory in its patent infringement battle with Apple on Friday when a German court issued an injunction against the iPhone and iPad product lines that could lead to a full European Union ban on the company’s iOS devices. The patents Motorola relied on for its injunction cover essential technology for GPRS wireless technology.
Motorola’s patent, 1010336 (B1), is European version of U.S. patent 6,359,898 “method for performing a countdown function during a mobile-originated transfer for a packet radio system,” according to Foss Patents.
Florian Mueller of Foss Patents said the ruling “includes an injunction that is preliminarily enforceable against Ireland-based Apple Sales International in exchange for a €100 million ($134 million) bond unless Apple wins a stay.”
While the injunction includes the original iPhone, iPhone 3G, 3GS and 4, along with the iPad and iPad 2, it doesn’t include the iPhone 4 because it shipped after Motorola’s case was filed with the court.
Apple next move will most likely be to appeal the ruling and ask for a suspension so it can continue to sell its products while the case continues to work its way through the German court system. The company could also attempt to modify the iPhone and iPad so they don’t infringe on the Motorola Mobility patent, or try to swing a licensing deal.
Motorola Mobility won a temporary injunction in early November that, at the time, Apple dismissed as unimportant. “This is a procedural issue that has nothing to do with the merits of the case. This does not affect our ability to sell products or do business in Germany at this time,” an Apple spokesperson said.
Apple has not commented on Friday’s ruling.