Apple scores win against Motorola in German patent battle

Apple has won an injunction against some Motorola smartphones, but an upgrade will keep products on sale, says Motorola

Apple scored a victory in its patent battle with Motorola Mobility, as the district court in Munich on Thursday granted an injunction against some of Motorola's smartphones.

The injunction is related to an Apple patent for unlocking touchscreens on select Motorola devices sold in Germany, according to a spokeswoman at Motorola.

However, Motorola has implemented a new design for the feature. Therefore, it doesn't expect the injunction to have an impact on current supply or future sales, she said via email.

This isn't the first time Apple's competitors have had to redesign their products to skirt court injunctions. For example, Samsung Electronics changed the way it scrolls through images on some of its Galaxy smartphones in the Netherlands and also put out a redesigned version of its Galaxy Tab 10.1 to appease German courts.

Apple declined to answer questions about the injunction. But Apple's victory comes as Motorola has stepped up its patent battle with the iPhone maker.

Earlier this month Apple temporarily had to remove some of its products from the online store serving Germany, due to an injunction related to a Motorola patent. Also, in January, Motorola filed a new lawsuit in Florida charging Apple with infringing six patents in the iPhone 4S.

This week, Google's acquisition of Motorola was approved in Europe and the U.S. Letters sent by Google and Apple to competition authorities and standards organizations show that the two companies have a different view on how patents should be licensed and litigated.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

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Mikael Ricknäs

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