The ‘Rubber Band’ Lawsuit

Following their historic triumph over Samsung in the US, Apple didn’t cease and took its winning habits over to Germany. Apple had filed a lawsuit against Google Motorola in Germany regarding their patent of the ‘Rubber Band’ effect. As it turned out, Google Motorola was found to be impeaching the design and Apple won the lawsuit. This is the second major victory for the leader in consumer tech products in the past few days.

Outcome of the Lawsuit & Future Implications

While the implications of the victory over Samsung aren’t fully clear as of yet, this victory would further solidify Apple’s stay at the top of the pile. Even when the lawsuit was going on, the big question was what would be the sanctions for Google Motorola if they are found guilty of infringing Apple’s patent. The biggest question was whether it would lead to a ban.

After all, Google hasn’t had Motorola under its wings for a very long time. Google paid $12.5 billion for the struggling Motorola Mobility and now it looks like they are going to have to let go of the German market for good. The reason is because their worst fears have materialized and a sales ban has been imposed on them.

Some consolation for the company is that all their products have not been banned. The ban is only imposed on a few of their devices, including the Motorola Defy, Motorola Xoom and Motorola Milestone XT720. The injunction has been made and Apple can force it by posting a bond worth $32 million. Even if Motorola appeals the verdict and loses, the injunction could still be enforced. It is quite probable that Google Motorola would decide against appealing the verdict.

The Way Out

For now, it is quite obvious that Google Motorola is in a serious predicament. Their sales figures are expected to fall steeply after the verdict, so will their market capitalization. All in all, this has been a loss-making exercise for them. Still, they reserve the right to appeal the verdict in the hope that it would be overturned. Apart from that there seems to be only one way out for them: upgrade and update their software.

The reason why they are in this fix is that the design on their software is similar to Apple and produces a Rubber Band effect seen on Apple devices. What they can do to get around it is to modify their software and make the necessary changes to make it different than Apple’s design. As most readers probably know, the Rubber Band effect comes into play when a user pulls a document on the touch screen beyond its edges. The document falls back into place with a bouncing effect.

All they need to do is make sure their touchscreen devices no longer have the Rubber Band effect, and if they do, it is not the same as that on the iOS devices. As of now, there has been no official word from Apple on the matter. It remains to be seen how Motorola reacts to the situation.

 

[ Image via tuaw ]