In the ever-changing patent wars, somedays you are the windshield and some days you are the bug. After coming up roses Thursday, Apple finds itself on the losing side against Samsung and Motorola.
An Australian court today dismissed Apple’s request to continue the country’s ban on Samsung’s Galaxy 10.1 tablet. The ruling by the Australian High Court means the South Korean company will be able to hawk its device during the all-important Christmas buying period.
In an ironic move, the court also ordered the Cupertino, Calif. tech giant pay legal costs. Conversely, on Thursday, a French court denied Samsung’s bid to ban the iPhone 4S, ruling the smartphone maker must pay Apple’s court costs. Apple and Samsung are engaged in courtroom brawls covering some 10 nations.
Apple suffered a second patent loss Friday, this time in Germany. That nation’s court ordered an injunction against the iPhone and iPads using 3G. Motorola claimed the Apple devices infringed on a European patent regarding the “Method for Performing a Countdown Function During a Mobile-originated Transfer for a Packet Radio System.” Patent expert Florian Mueller, writing at FOSS Patents, said the patent was ruled essential for the GPRS standard, a version of 3G used widely used in Europe.
The ruling comes after a German court sided with Motorola in an earlier default judgement against Apple. The default judgement was entered after Apple failed to respond to Motorola’s complaint. Today’s court decision actually carries a penalty compared to the essentially administrative default ruling.
Although the iPhone 4S was released after Motorola filed the German lawsuit, Mueller believes Apple’s newest iPhone would also contain the offending technology. However, the actual ruling mentions only the iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPad 3G and iPad 2 3G.
While Apple’s next step is unknown, one potential reaction could be for the company to modify its products to remove the patented technology. The company is expected to unveil a new iPhone and iPad in early 2012.