Motorola's just scored a fairly big victory in its ongoing worldwide case against Apple: a German court has ruled that every iPhone up to the iPhone 4S and both 3G iPads infringe a Motorola patent held essential to the GPRS standard. (The iPhone 4S simply wasn't around when Motorola filed the case; it's likely but not certain it contains the same infringing elements.) Unlike the previous Motorola victory in Germany, this one has some actual teeth: Motorola can post a €100m ($133m) bond and enforce an injunction against sales of Apple's products in Germany. It's all but certain Apple will appeal the decision and seek to postpone any injunction while the appeal is underway; Apple's also trying to have the patent invalidated entirely, and in the meantime it can also try and redesign its devices so they no longer infringe. We'll see if Motorola decides to try and enforce the sales ban, and if Apple is successful in having it stayed pending appeal — we'll let you know when we hear from both sides.
Update: If Motorola decides to enforce the injunction, it'll only apply to new imports, not current stock — which explains why Apple tells us there'll be no shortage of iPhones and iPads in Germany for Christmas. Here's the complete statement from the company:
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.
It also appears that this dispute is strictly about the license terms and money Motorola wanted for its patents, not any cross-licensing of Apple's iOS patents; since Motorola's patents are essential to the GPRS standard, it really can't ask for anything more than a fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) license. The German result is also a bit different than what would happen in the US, where money is always generally enough to remedy infringement of a standards patent — especially one that's been widely licensed across the industry like the Moto patent involved in this case. In any event, it seems as though Apple's German legal team has some homework to do over the holiday break.