Opening a new chapter in the series of lawsuits between Apple and just about everyone else in the consumer electronics industry, the German courts have awarded Motorola Mobility with an injunction that could prevent Apple from selling products within the country. This is a surprising turn for Apple’s fortunes, as the company had won a similar injunction against Samsung in August.
As is the case with most legal proceedings, the situation is far more complicated than it first appears. While this is surely a victory for Motorola, Nilay Patel at The Verge points out that the injunction names Apple’s global parent company, and does not mention Apple’s German subsidiary. Patel believes that this would allow the Apple’s German operations to continue selling products in the country, making the victory mostly symbolic.
However, intellectual property analyst Florian Mueller believes that this could be a real thorn in Apple’s side. He points out that while the German subsidiary is not explicitly mentioned in the injunction, Motorola’s win in court gives the company the ability to raise a stink about most of Apple’s German operations. For instance, Mueller points out that all of Apple’s online sales are made through the parent company’s website making it a potential sticking point. Moreover, the German subsidiary only sells products supplied by the parent company, possibly falling under the purview of the injunction.
At this point, everything is somewhat hypothetical, and it could be some time before we see how the cout decision shakes out in real life. However, if you are living in Germany and were thinking about getting an iPod or a Mac Mini, you might want to do it sooner rather than later.