Over in the busy courts of Germany, Apple just suffered a little loss in a preliminary hearing that might snowball into a huge one: iCloud is potentially infringing on patents owned by Motorola. The German courts could order an injunction that’ll force Apple to stop selling products that connect to iCloud.
It hasn’t happened yet but a court in Mannheim, Germany, held a preliminary hearing about Motorola’s patent infringement claim against Apple and they’ve ruled that it’s going to trial. The trial holds serious ramifications for Apple and is currently scheduled for February 3, 2012. The specific patent in question is, according to FOSS Patents, “EP (European Patent) 0847654 (B1) on a ‘multiple pager status synchronisation system and method’; this is the European equivalent of US Patent No. 5,754,119.” The Motorola patent essentially details how contacts and calendars sync with devices. Motorola says that Apple uses this syncing method in iCloud. And as everything Apple cares about syncs with iCloud, all those products could disappear in Germany because of a future injunction
FOSS Patents asserts that the court in Mannheim, Germany “doesn’t appear to buy any of Apple’s defences at this stage”, so Apple needs to be ready if they want to keep doing business in Germany. Apple has asked the court to order Motorola to give a $US2.7 billion bail if Motorola seeks to enforce the patent (the bail is to give the infringer (Apple) compensation if the ruling is overturned in appeals court later). Either way, this court battle looks like it’s shaping up to be a big one in Europe. No word how it’ll affect Apple in the US yet. [FOSS Patents]