FOSS Patents reported that on late friday Motorola Mobility won an injunction against Apple in a legal batter in Germany, which is a decision that was preventing Apple potentially from selling any of their mobile devices in that country. The injunction curiously was given as a default judgement, which with Apple was apparently not going to defend theirselves for the unknown reasons.
The circumstances were quite strange, leading to some despite over which injunction will have any big pressure put onto Apple’s iPhone’s being marketed in Germany. But The Verge’s Niley Patel had argued that the victory isn’t “totally symbolic” and for one Motorola given that they will just affect Apple and not it’s Apple Germany subsidiary which actually markets the iPhone in Germany.
Motorola Mobility filed lawsuits against both organizations, and while Apple Germany is vigorously fighting its case, Apple’s lawyers let the Apple Inc., lawsuit slide, resulting in this default judgement and injunction. But since Apple Inc., doesn’t actually sell anything in Germany, it’s a totally symbolic victory for Motorola — there aren’t any products to ban.
Unconcerned about attitude, Apple took itself toward the ruling saying that it will fail to impact the company’s profit “at this current time”.
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.
FOSS Patent’s Floria Mueller, disagreed with Patel’s interpretation, pointing out that there is indeed danger happening with Apple if the courts rule out that the parent Apple Inc. company is being judged for being an entity for selling their products in Germany. An example given by Mueller, points out that Apple’s german website is owned by Apple Inco. and not Apple Germany, which leads to the inforcement of the injunction which could make Apple have to shut down their German website that is currently running. An additional example given is that the injunction could be simply prevented by Apple Inc. from providing shipments to Apple Germany, which would then cut off sales by furthering up their distribution chain not including a direct judgement against Apple Germany at all.
It’s argued by Mueller that for any limitations put on Apple’s Inc.’s own ability to do business in the country of Germany will be affecting the company’s business there, which will be even affecting the actual sales being funneled through Apple Germany subsidiary. It’s believed, consequently that Apple will start to feel an impact in sales in a matter of weeks which unless Apple wins their suspension on the injunction. Follow-ups in a post, Mueller says that a few German lawyers are indicating that Apple will be likely to win a suspension as long as the trial continues to play out, though Apple will need to run fast through the appeal of the verdict specifically to minimize the impact it could cause.
All of the lawyers I talked to had consistent positions. In particular, all of them agree with me that the default judgment against Apple Inc. of Cupertino would have very near-term business impact unless Apple wins a suspension. They all agree that in one way or another, Apple’s German business also depends on Apple Inc. being unrestricted to do business in Germany. And they all concur that Apple is more likely than not to win a temporary suspension (for the period until a substantive decision following a second hearing by the same court). “More likely than not” is a conservative consensus position. An unnamed one of them told me he can’t imagine any other outcome.
For why Apple is being allowed the default judgement to be made in Motorola’s own favor, Mueller forwards the theories, with Apple lawyers being simply missed within the court date for the same reasons to the plans that were strategically placed to either draw out the case or to preserve the ability for anyone to reveal any new evidence. With a crapload of other cases and investigations showing relation to Apple’s intellectual property disputes, it’s quite difficult to decipher if a movie in this case could affect other kinds of events, which are similarly hampering the ability to understand Apple’s own rationale.