A court in Munich ruled on Thursday that Motorola Mobility, owned by Google Inc, had infringed an Apple Inc patent and ordered that all tablets and smartphones containing the technology be recalled.
Judge Peter Guntz said Motorola had infringed Apple’s “overscroll bounce” technology, which enables users to move documents over the screen of their device and let them bounce back to the center after releasing their fingers.
A spokeswoman for the court said the ruling was not likely to have an immediate impact as Apple would have to specifically request a ban on the product and Motorola could also appeal against the ruling.
Motorola, which had won a similar patent case in western Germany in July last year, has one month to appeal the decision.
Google bought lossmaking Motorola Mobility for US$12.5 billion last year, in its largest acquisition ever, aiming to use the company’s patents to fend off legal attacks on its Android mobile platform and expand beyond its software business.
The latest case is just one of many patent battles that technology companies have waged worldwide, while Germany has become a major battleground in the global patent war between makers of mobile phones, tablet computer devices and their operating software, as court actions there have proved to be relatively cheap and speedy.
Last month, Apple scored a landmark legal victory over Samsung Electronics Co when a US jury found the South Korean company had copied critical features of the iPhone and iPad and awarded Apple US$1.05 billion in damages.