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When Apple Loses, The Consumer Wins

Motorola won a small victory today in Germany where a court ruled that the Motorola Xoom tablet does not infringe on the design of the iPad.

This decision is a notable rebuke of Apple’s attempt to quash any competition through legal maneuvering. Apple has notoriously brought suit against both Motorola and Samsung, claiming that their products infringe upon Apple’s patented designs. In recent weeks Apple has been able to ban two Samsung tablets in Germany, and it has obtained an injunction on the sale of the Galaxy 10.1 in the United States. Moreover, Apple has gone as far as targeting specific retailers that are selling their remaining Galaxy 10.1 tablets. It seems that the courts may finally be starting to push back.

Unfortunately for the American consumer, this has no direct impact on pending litigation in the United States. This decision does, however, indicate that there may be a growing worldwide sentiment that Apple is going too far. Will this change the course that Apple takes in enforcing its patents around the world? Probably not. But, this could certainly cause some consumers to think twice about Apple’s business practices, and punish the company where it hurts the most – the bottom line.

Another unlikely winner in this decision may be Research in Motion. Just last week, Nokia filed three additional infringement claims against RIM in Germany. If today’s decision is any indication, other courts in Germany may be growing tired of the bickering between technology giants. This is especially evidenced by the fact that both Apple and Motorola’s claims were dismissed. In effect, they both won and they both lost. A similar decision would be a welcome result for RIM.

In the end, the real winner here is the consumer. Hopefully, these companies will finally realize that it should be the consumers who decide which product is better – not judges.

Image Credits: Amazon

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