Apple just found itself on the receiving-end of some legal hurt. Motorola has successfully sued Apple in Germany, paving the way for a Europe-wise sales ban on basically all iOS devices. Better get those Apple stocking stuffers, like, nowish.
Motorola Mobility has won its first of two patent-infringement cases against Apple, both of which were filed back in April. This grants them an injunction against all of the products which infringe. No big deal, that only includes the iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, the original iPad 3G and iPad 2 3G. Oh damn. And if you're feeling smug because you didn't see the iPhone 4S in there, that's only because the lawsuit was filed back in April, but it's a pretty safe bet that the 4S includes the offending technology, too. Needless to say, this is potentially a major blow to Apple.
The patent in question relates to core cellular technology and is described in the court document as "method for performing a countdown function during a mobile-originated transfer for a packet radio system". If the ruling is upheld, Apple must either remove this technology from their devices or pay a hefty licensing fee. There is also a question of payment for past infringement.
Motorola Mobility must now decide whether or not they will enforce this ban immediately. Naturally, Apple is going to appeal the case, but the injunction is already enforceable. If Moto opts to do so, they must cough up a £86 million bond, in case the verdict is overturned in appeal. Apple wanted the bond set at £1.7 billion citing the massive losses it would take, but here, too, the judge sided with Moto.
It seems that Apple is suddenly getting a taste of its own medicine after the whole Apple Vs. Samsung thing in Australia (and Europe, and the US). By the time all this shakes out the only tablets left on shelves will be refurbished Etch-a-Sketches. [Foss Patents via 9to5 Mac]