On Friday, a German court granted Motorola an injunction against Apple and awarded damages in a patent infringement case. This ruling was a default judgment handed to Motorola because Apple, for some unknown reason, failed to defend itself in this case.
Much confusion exists over the impact of this decision. Apple responded in a statement to CNET and claimed "This is a procedural issue and has nothing to do with the merits of the case." Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet also said, "It does not affect our ability to do business or sell products in Germany at this time."
According to FOSS Patents, the key words in Apple's statement are "at this time." Apple could petition the German court and will likely receive a temporary suspension of the default judgment. This request for a second judgment, based on the merits of the case and not on a default decision, could bring the case all the way to the Federal Court of Justice and could take years to complete. If Apple fails to convince the courts to grant a temporary stay, this injunction could have a material impact on Apple's business in Germany.
As of the writing of this post, Apple has not filed for a temporary suspension but could do so within the next two weeks. For full analysis of this sticky legal situation, you should read Florian Mueller's report which includes input from German lawyers.