Court ruling affects tablet PCs in Germany

Many people across the world use tablet PC devices, including those featuring Android tablet systems. Such individuals may be interested in new legal developments concerning technology of this kind.

Industry giant Apple has succeeded in a patent infringement claim it made against Motorola in Germany. The case centred on a ‘slide to unlock’ system that was introduced on the iPhone in 2007.

A court has ruled that two of the devices made by Motorola Mobility using Android software infringed Apple’s patent because they are unblocked by a similar sliding of a padlock icon across the screen.

The decision was made at the Munich I Regional Court and it is just one development in an ongoing battle between a number of firms in the industry.

Responding to the ruling, Motorola stated that it would not affect “current supply or future sales” of its products.

Meanwhile, speaking to the Guardian, independent patent analyst Florian Müller said: “Whenever Apple decides to assert this against additional Android device makers, it can do so in Munich with a high likelihood of success.”

The expert suggested that Germany has become the focus for the patent disagreements because it courts hand down judgements in such cases more quickly than US federal courts or the US’s International Trade Commission.

Also speaking to the publication, Motorola remarked: “Today’s ruling in the patent litigation brought by Apple in Munich, Germany, concerns a software feature related to phone unlocking in select Motorola devices sold in Germany. Motorola has implemented a new design for the feature.”

Individuals with an interest in tablet PC devices, including Android tablet systems, may well be watching to see how other similar cases are resolved. It seems likely that these legal battles will continue for some time to come and they could have a big impact on the sector.