Apple scores Germany patent win over Motorola [UPDATE: Statement from Motorola]

I get a little sketchy about writing patent articles, just viewing the comments on previous articles of this nature show that we’ve all pretty much come to loathe Apple’s legal pursuits. However whilst the patents are boring, pedantic and often downright silly, it’s important to note how they affect the mobile market, something that we, as customers, are directly involved with.

Today Apple won a case in Germany against Motorola over the “overscroll bounce function in the photo gallery app”. We all know that when you swipe the last photo in your gallery, the photo bounces back into the middle of the screen. Motorola copied this, so Apple sued them, and today the court has ruled in Apple’s favor.

Motorola will have to implement some kind of software update to rectify the infringement if it is to avoid further legal action. If they don’t, Apple could enforce a ruling that would require Motorola to destroy all infringing products in its possession, as well as all the phones in stock in German retailers. Sounds drastic right? That probably won’t happen, it’s more of an annoyance than a defeat for Motorola. However the money won should pay for the champagne at the next Apple shareholders meeting. Whilst the financial gain of one such lawsuit is next to nothing when it comes to Apple, accumulated, I can imagine that they have acquired, and lost a small fortune in the legal arena.

I’m starting to think that maybe Apple should change its 3GS campaign slogan “There’s an App for that” to “There’s a patent for that”. Sounds much more fitting don’t you think?

UPDATE: Having read this article, a company spokesperson from Motorola Mobility contacted us with the following statement:

“Today’s ruling in Munich, Germany on the patent litigation brought by Apple concerns a software feature associated with performing certain functions when viewing photos in a ‘zoomed in’ mode on mobile devices. We note that the Court ruled that performing the functions in a ‘zoomed out’ mode does not infringe on this patent. We expect no impact to supply or future sales as we have already implemented a new way to view photos on our products that does not interfere with the user experience.”


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