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Apple could face huge potential loss if Motorola wins in German court

Mike Schramm
November 18, 2011
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So far, Apple has been faring pretty well on the various patent disputes it's currently fighting against Samsung and other companies, but Apple's own lawyers agree that stakes are higher than usual in a German case that Motorola has filed against the company. If a German court upholds the order that's trying to halt sales of Apple products in that country because of the patent dispute, Apple says it might lose as much as US$2.7 billion in potential sales.

Apple's legal team is arguing that if the order does indeed go through, Motorola should have to put that money up in a bond while the case is still under investigation by the courts. But a lot of this is legal posturing -- as the judge in the hearing says, he's "not yet entirely sure that amount adequately mirrors the commercial value of this dispute."

Obviously Apple wants the bond to be as high as possible; if Motorola flinches and can't put up the bond when asked, the case could be weakened. At any rate, there's plenty of time to decide, since the court's ruling isn't due until February 3. It seems unlikely that Motorola could stop Apple's sales in Germany completely, but it sounds like if Motorola pushes to do so, Apple will try to make it pay.

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