Apple has won a significant victory in Germany which bans Motorola from enforcing a ban on iPhone and iPads due to possible abuse of FRAND (fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory) patent licensing terms, as well as offering Apple protection from such abuse.
Bloomberg reports (via iMore):
“At the current state of the proceedings, it is to be assumed that Motorola Mobility would violate its duties under antitrust rules if it continues to ask Apple to stop the sales,” the court said in a statement.
FRAND patents cover technologies that are essential to the function of certainly widely used standards, and are expected to be licensed to any interested party under terms that are Fair, Reasonable, and Non-Discriminatory (FRAND).
Many of the patents that Motorola is suing Apple over fall into this category, with Apple claiming that Motorola refuses to licenses the patents to them under reasonable terms, or at all in some cases. The European Union is currently investigating Samsung for possible FRAND patent abuse, as well as further investigating the issue in general. It’s possible that a similar investigation could focus on Motorola in the near future.