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Motorola Mobility deal latest blow to Apple in patent war

The patent war is rumbling on this week, with tech giant Apple being dealt another blow by Motorola Mobility over the use of its wireless technology.

A court in Germany has ruled in Motorola’s favour over the use of its patented technology in Apple iPhones and 3G iPads.

The case concerns a Motorola patent for a “method for performing a countdown function during a mobile-originated transfer for a packet radio system.”

It’s pretty complex stuff, and it gets even more complicated when it comes to the details of the dispute. In a nut shell, Apple lost the case because they tried to contest the validity of Motorola’s patent, as they felt Motorola was charging too much for the use of the technology.

Motorola to halt iPad sales?

But the German court found that Apple had breached the terms of the patent, and ruled in Motorola’s favour. This means that Motorola could force Apple to remove the technology from its devices, or even halt sales of iPhones and iPads in Germany altogether.

But the case is far from over, and unsurprisingly Apple intends to appeal. In a statement, Apple said: “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.”

As both companies are such big players the case could go on for years, as Apple go higher and higher up the German court system.

If Motorola push ahead with a sales injunction, we could see showdown between old foes Apple and Google – which is in the process of a takeover of Motorola Mobility.

The takeover will give Google access to over 17,000 of Motorola Mobility’s patents. On Google’s blog, Chief executive Larry Page said the takeover would “enable us to better protect Android from anti-competitive threats from Microsoft, Apple and other companies.”

With other patent battles still raging on in Germany, as well as Australia and the US, it is looking like 2012 could be a make or break year for Apple.