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Apple loses battles in patent war as consumer demand ramps for Christmas

Warwick Ashford

Apple has lost a patent battle to Motorola in Germany and another to Samsung in Australia, just in time for end-of-year sales.

Motorola Mobility had accused Apple of failing to license one of its wireless technologies used in iPhones and 3G iPads. Now a German court has ruled in Motorola’s favour.

Motorola Mobility could now try to force Apple to remove the feature from its devices or halt sales in Germany. But Apple says it intends to appeal against the ruling, according to the BBC.

"We're going to appeal the court's ruling right away. Holiday shoppers in Germany should have no problem finding the iPad or iPhone they want,” Apple said in a statement.

Motorola will have to post a £85m bond to enforce a sales injunction against Apple to cover compensation to Apple in case the ruling is overturned.

If Motorola tries to halt the sale of Apple products in Germany, it could result in a clash between Apple and Google, which is set to take over Motorola in 2012.

Apple is engaged in several other patent disputes, having challenged HTC, Samsung and others for infringing Apple patents.

The US International Trade Commission is expected to rule on its Apple’s dispute with HTC on 14 December. The judgement could lead to shipments of HTC's products being blocked in the US.

A court in Australia overturned an injunction Apple had imposed on Samsung from selling its Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia.

Following the latest ruling, Samsung said that its Galaxy Tab 10.1 will be available in stores in time for the Christmas shopping period, according to The Guardian.

Apple is pressing ahead with its mission against Samsung in the US by lodging an appeal against a US judge's decision not to block Samsung from selling its smartphones and tablets.

Last week, US District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California, denied Apple's request for a preliminary injunction to ban Samsung from selling three smartphone models and a tablet.

Apple and Samsung are engaged in a series of legal battles in 10 countries where they are suing and countersuing over various copyright issues.

Apple initially sued Samsung in the US in April and then Australia for allegedly copying the iPhone and iPad designs for its Galaxy line of smartphones and tablets.

In October, an Australian judge there ordered Samsung to halt sales of the Galaxy, Samsung challenged the ruling and won, Apple appealed and lost at the weekend.

Samsung responded to Apple's lawsuits by accusing Apple of patent infringement of Samsung’s wireless technology.

Courts in Germany, the Netherlands and France have rejected Samsung’s claims and an Italian court is due to hear the same arguments next week.


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