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December 2012: Patent Victories for Motorola Mobility in Germany

December 2012

The firm recently obtained a complete dismissal of all claims asserted by Apple in a German design patent action for its client Motorola Mobility. In 2011, Apple had filed an action with the Düsseldorf District Court seeking a pan-European injunction against Motorola’s tablet computer Xoom.

Apple claimed that the design of Xoom infringed three design patents registered to Apple in the European Union. The design patents were based on the design of the first iPad model. Apple further asserted trade dress claims and claims for infringement of an unregistered three dimensional trademark in the shape of the iPad. The case was tried in two hearings: one dealing with design patent and trade dress claims, and the other one dealing with trademark claims.

Quinn Emanuel convinced the court that the impression created upon users by the design of Motorola’s Xoom device differs from the impression created by Apple’s design patents. Consequently, the court found non-infringement of Apple’s design. Quinn Emanuel also convinced the Düsseldorf court that Apple’s trade dress claims were invalid because there would be neither confusion as to source nor any exploitation of reputation. Finally, Quinn Emanuel convinced the court that Apple had no trademark claims, which resulted in a complete dismissal of Apple’s action.

The firm also obtained a full dismissal for Motorola Mobility of all claims asserted by Apple in a German patent case. In 2011, Apple filed an action with the District Court Mannheim seeking an injunction against Motorola devices running the Android operating system. Apple claimed that the devices infringed upon a patent pertaining to touch event model. This patent was directed to the processing of multiple touch events occurring on a touchscreen device. The patent provides for views of a graphical user interface, each of which is associated with an exclusive touch flag for allowing a device to set a specific view to an exclusive mode in which multiple simultaneous touches on other views are not being processed.

The case turned on construction of the patent’s claims, and we convinced the court that our claim constructions were correct. As a result, Apple was not able to show that such flags exist in the implementation of the Android operating system. Consequently, the court found non-infringement of the asserted claims.