Motorola Admits Xoom Tablet Faces Apple Lawsuit in Germany


Motorola (NYS: MOT) has confirmed that Apple (NAS: AAPL) is suing it in Germany over patent design infringements for its Xoom Android tablet.

The disclosure comes after Apple won a preliminary injunction against the Samsung GalaxyTab 10.1 last week, which stopped sales of the tablet in the EU, with the exception of the Netherlands, where a separate lawsuit is under way.

Motorola says Apple filed the complaint on May 27 this year in response to Motorola's own patent-infringement complaints against Apple, which Motorola filed in Germany in April.

"Apple's complaint for design patent infringement was filed on May 27, 2011, over two months ago," Motorola told The Inquirer. "Motorola has reviewed Apple's claims and believe they have no merit. We intend to vigorously defend Motorola's own product designs."

However, intellectual-property analyst Florian Muller says that that the Apple complaint does not fully clarify whether Apple is asking for an injunction against the Motorola Xoom, and he suggests that the Motorola tablet may have been available for sale for too long for Apple to call for a preliminary injunction.

While it remains unclear whether Xoom shipments into Europe will be halted by this legal action, the case against Samsung could take weeks before the German court reaches a judgment and seriously damage the South Korean manufacturer's hopes to gain market share. Meanwhile, observers claim that the GalaxyTab 10.1 is still being offered online in many European countries.

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