The patent gods have smiled on Motorola and samsung – for once.
After suffering some disheartening defeats, the two companies have been cleared of any wrongdoing in a dispute with Apple in a German court.
Apple claimed that several of Motorola and Samsung’s Android handsets violated its patent dealing with an OS’s responses to “touch events” – i.e. how the devices respond to users’ touch inputs.
The full details of the court’s decision have yet to be revealed, but German lobbyist and patent law blogger Florian Mueller suggests that Apple’s patent is simply too vague to be enforced.
That’s reportedly how Apple lost its claims in similar cases in the Netherlands and the UK, and it may be that the court in Germany concurred.
A losing streak
This victory should provide both Samsung and Motorola with some much-needed time to lick their wounds, as both companies suffered some serious losses recently in the patent space.
Google’s Motorola was found in violation of a Microsoft-owned patent on Thursday, earning Microsoft the right to demand licensing fees or even a ban on certain Android devices.
And last month, a jury awarded Apple more than $1 billion in damages from a victory over Samsung in a landmark patent case.
On Wednesday, it was revealed that Apple is seeking even more money from Samsung – up to $3 billion.
War, war never changes
Of course, Samsung and Motorola are not free from blame in the tech industry’s absurd and childish maelstrom of back-and-forth patent disputes.
Motorola has spent most of 2012 attempting to get Microsoft’s Xbox 360 gaming console banned from shelves, and Samsung attempted to draw out its own trial with Apple with a massive spate of counter-claims.
What’s clear is that the patent war is far from over.
TechRadar reached out to both companies to learn of their responses to their victories over Apple, but they have yet to reply.