German football fans may be gearing up for the World Cup Final against Argentina, but, win or lose, they certainly won’t be taking selfies on their Moto X phones. That’s because those phones are now on the endangered species list in Germany due to a recent patent infringement suit.
A German court has ruled that certain Motorola phones infringe on a patent held by LPKF, a German electronics company. The patent is for “laser direct structuring,” and certain Motorola phones, including the Moto G and Moto X, have been found to include that infringing technology.
The technology in question is involved in the process of printing circuit layouts on three-dimensional structures. It is used in a number of electronics applications aside from smartphones, including healthcare devices and automotive electronics.
This does not mean that Motorola will be forced to pay licensing fees to LPKF. Instead, the German government is playing hardball. The court has ordered Motorola to stop selling the infringing phones in Germany and ordered the company to recall all infringing phones from commercial customers. Oh, and it must pay a compensation fee to LPKF as well.
LPKF has been aggressive with its offensive use of the patent in question. It recently took its legal team to China, hoping to enforce its patent in a country where many of the allegedly infringing phones are manufactured. It was unsuccessful in that endeavor, but the ruling in Germany could embolden the company to try this tack in other nations.