Motorola gets injunction against Apple in Germany

The preliminary injunction will not prevent the sale of Apple's iPhones and iPads, Vodafone and Apple said

Motorola Mobility won a preliminary injunction on Friday, forbidding Apple from selling any mobile devices in Germany that infringe on two Motorola patents related to wireless technology.

The district court in Mannheim, Germany, made a default judgment in Motorola's favor after Apple failed to turn up in court, a spokesman at the Landgericht Mannheim said.

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The verdict didn't mention any Apple products by name, but said that the company can't offer any mobile devices that infringe on two Motorola patents related to wireless technology, which makes the iPhone and iPad the most likely to be affected. If Apple does not respect the judgment, it may have to pay a €250,000, the court ruled.

Apple is not worried by the decision: "This is a procedural issue and has nothing to do with the merits of the case. It does not affect our ability to sell products or do business in Germany at this time," a company spokesman said via email.

Vodafone Germany, which on Monday had banners for the iPhone 4S and the iPad 2 on its website, expects the verdict will have no impact on its sales activites. The judgment refers to Apple Inc., the U.S. parent company, and not to the European subsidiary responsible for delivery of products in Germany, a Vodafone spokesman said via email.

A default judgement was handed down by the judge because representatives for Apple didn't turn up, and Apple will now have to appeal the verdict if the company doesn't agree with it, the spokesman at the court said.

Apple didn't comment on what its next legal move will be.

Motorola would prefer to make its technologies widely available by licensing its patents, rather than using the patents to block sales of other products, it said.

Apple is involved in a number of patent-related cases around the world, and has been scoring victories most of them, including getting injunctions against Samsung in Germany and Australia. However, last week it lost a case against a small Spanish company, which Apple had tried to stop from selling an Android-based tablet.

Google is in the process of acquiring Motorola Mobility, and is itself involved in a court case related to Android.

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