German court rules against Motorola Mobility in Apple case
The Apple-Android patent war rumbles on… A German court has ruled against Google-owned Motorola Mobility (MMI) for infringement of Apple’s rubber-band/bounce-back patent, reports The Guardian. This carries the threat of the company having to recall all the Android devices it has shipped in the country.
Charles Arthur writes:
The dramatic decision, the latest in an escalating war between Apple and the smartphone and set-top box company MMI, follows earlier cases in which Apple had to disable automatic “push” delivery of email to its iPhone and iPads after MMI won a separate patent fight in Germany.
The recall will not take effect immediately because Apple will have to request a ban on specific products and provide a €25m (£20m) bond, while MMI can appeal.
MMI is expected to appeal the ruling of the Munich Regional Court.
You can read more detail about the case, including background information and full patent details, on the excellent Foss Patents blog. The article also considers the alternatives available in vanilla Android, such as using a glow effect rather than overscroll bounce:
Apple can enforce a Germany-wide permanent (but appealable and, therefore, preliminarily-enforceable) injunction now by posting a 25 million bond (or making a deposit of the same amount), which it undoubtedly will. Motorola doesn’t have to look far for a workaround: stock Android (the version of Android that Google makes available for download) comes with a glow effect instead of the overscroll bounce. Samsung’s current devices also have a blue glow. But the glow does not solve the problem that the rubber-banding patent solves: by the time a user notices the glow, he or she has already instinctively pressed harder because of the impression that the device is not responding. This injunction spells further degradation of the Android user experience.