For a while the patent cases have been quiet. Previous cases had seen Apple suing Samsung for several patent infringement. In most cases we had seen Apple succeed by having Samsung’s product banned in some countries. This lawsuit were so frequent that it was said to be the main reason Google acquired Motorola. Motorola is known to posses some valuable number of patents. And it can be seen that such acquisition is beginning to pay off.
Courts in Germany have found in favor of Motorola in two cases of patent infringement by Apple. These are the same types of proceedings that Apple has used to get Samsung products pulled from shelves and show floors in the past, and the current documents from Germany look to affect all Apple mobile products,and have enabled damages that go back to April 2003. But let’s not get too excited, because I doubt that Motorola will ask for Apple products to be banned from sale in Germany, even though the courts have said they can do so.
Of the two patents in question (EP 1010336 (B1) and EP 0847654 (B1)), Motorola has already declared that one (the US version — U.S. Patent No. 6,359,898) is “essential to ETSI standards (GSM, UMTS, 3G)”. There’s a very good chance the other patent will be essential to use as well. These are not patents on ideas, they are methods to use specific hardware. Motorola did invent the cell phone, after all.
Lets see how Apple fares in this one. The next contender in the patent war is Microsoft. It will be interesting to watch this events has they unfold.