Last Friday Motorola won a default judgment in Germany blocking the sale of iPad 3G’s and all iPhones before the iPhone 4S in Germany. The court sided with Motorola after the company successfully argued that Apple violated one of its 3G patents. The ruling was a blow to Apple, especially since Germany is the largest EU market for iOS devices.
However, as AllThingsD point out, the ruling isn’t as devastating to Apple in the short term as it has been made out. First, Apple is immediately appealing the ruling. Second, if they don’t win the appeal they could possible license the 3G patent from Motorola. But most importantly, the ruling won’t have much of a material impact (if any) on Apple’s holiday sales in Germany. That’s because the ruling only applies to the importation of new iOS devices into the country. Any iOS device inventory that is already in the country can still be sold.
No doubt with the holidays here Apple already made sure that Germany had a healthy inventory of iOS devices on hand, and if they believed there was a possibility that they would lose the case they probably stocked up inventory in the country more than usual. As an Apple spokesperson told AllThingsD, “We’re going to appeal the court’s ruling right away. Holiday shoppers in Germany should have no problem finding the iPad or iPhone they want.”
Original Post: TUAW