Motorola whiffs: now 2 for 3 in German Apple lawsuits

Motorola whiffs: now 2 for 3 in German Apple lawsuits
Motorola’s winning streak in German courts came to an end this week, as a Mannheim court ruled that Apple’s products do not infringe on a 3G/UMTS-based patent. The failure seems to have stemmed in large due to Motorola’s attempt to declare the patent an essential standards patent itself, and failing to provide specific evidence that Apple’s implementation actually infringed on their patent.

In short, Motorola spent most of their time claiming that their EP1053613 patent, for a "method and system for generating a complex pseudonoise sequence for processing a code division multiple access [CDMA] signal,” was so broad that it must cover any attempt to create a phone that implements 3G/UMTS. The court failed to agree (no standards body had declared the patent essential – that was just Motorola’s claim) and with no specific arguments on the table as to why Apple’s implementation infringed the patent, the court found little choice but to find in Apple’s favor.

According to Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents, the court had already expressed puzzlement over Motorola’s strategy, and their ruling today was consistent with the objections the court raised during the trial. Why Motorola attempted to win this way rather than arguing for specific infringement isn’t clear – perhaps the details of Apple’s 3D/UMTS implementation is actually fairly different. Or perhaps they were hoping that a win on their terms would lead to faster patent deals with other companies (including makers of Windows Phone devices) if they could get a ruling that concurred that their patent was essential to 3G phones.

Motorola still has two significant victories against Apple in the Mannheim courts, and their .666 batting average is surely envied by the legal team over at Samsung. We're sure to see plenty more about those rulings (and subsequent appeals) as time goes on. In the meantime, this finding shows that Mannheim won’t be “home turf” for anyone in the patent wars.

source: FOSS Patents


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