A German court ruled today that no, Motorola’s Xoom tablet doesn’t infringe upon the iPad’s design, Dow Jones Newswire has it. As a result, Apple won’t be able to ban the device across Europe, as it originally planned. It doesn’t matter as the Xoom, an inaugural tablet running Android 3.0 Honeycomb, was introduced at CES in January 2011. The device barely passed the one million units mark and in the first quarter of 2012 sold just 100,000 units. The ruling also rejected Motorola’s assertion that the iPad’s design patent is invalid…
According to the news wire service, the court saw Motorola’s design language sufficiently different to reject Apple’s copycat claims:
During two hearings prior to the ruling, the presiding judge had indicated the court was leaning in Motorola’s favor. Judge Johanna Brueckner-Hofmann said in March that the court considered the evenly bent back and shaped edges on the front of the Xoom tablet sufficient to give the product individual character.
The court ordered Apple to pay two-thirds of costs and Motorola to pay a third. Motorola is also embroiled in a patent fight with Microsoft over Android technology. That trial should start November 13, 2012.
There’s only that many ways one could build a tablet, but Apple’s original argument that Motorola copied the design of the iPad struck me as odd from the onset.
Here’s what the Xoom looks like.
Doesn’t look like an iPad clone to me.
That Apple bothered to even file a complaint over the Xoom’s design is a sign of how important Apple views the iPad and the tablet market and just how far the company is willing to go to block rivals from slowing down the iPad by flooding the market with Android slates.
So far, the strategy appears to be working to the extent that another old tablet model, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1, is facing a sales ban in the United States.
Other than that, litigation did little to cripple Apple’s competition. Things are a bit different as of late, as Google stepped up its strategy by entering the market directly with its own Nexus 7 tablet. The device seems like it’s gotten off to a great start, with glowing reviews and endorsement from some of the most die-hard Apple fanboys.
By the way, funny how Google commissioned Asus to build the Nexus 7 and not Motorola, the famous mobile devices company it recently acquired for $12.5 billion.
Didn’t Google think Motorola was capable of engineering such a sleek, smooth device?