The giant of the old mobile era, Motorola, has got themselves into big trouble this time in Germany, where they are currently in a lawsuit with LPKF, a Germany-based laser and electronics company on the infringement of their patent rights.
This particular manufacturing patent by LPKF uses laser direct structuring, a process where circuit boards are printed on three dimensional structures, unlike the usual flat panel surface. This is in fact currently used in various electronics products from the automotive to healthcare devices. It is also used in the manufacture of mobile phone antennas as well.
And unfortunately for Motorola, the Mannheim Regional Court has ruled in favor of LPFK this time, and Motorola will have to withdraw certain models of their phones, including the Moto G and Moto X from the German market and pay LPKF for the damages lost in this manner.
This was after LPKF filed for the patent lawsuit in China, where the same manufacturing technology is used in the products in the Chinese market. “Counterfeit” phone units were found manufactured with the same technology in China which were used for export. The China court however ruled them out completely even in an appeal as they did not cater to the domestic market.
If that is the case, I believe that Motorola will have to suffer more, probably in the other countries in this case as LPKF’s CEO, Ingo Bretthauer, says he will not be filing the patent in China now, but where the products are exported to.
The CEO added that the lawsuits are a part and parcel of a technology’s everyday business and one wouldn’t want to guess how much losses Motorola would incur in this manner.
Kind of unfair when it’s actually the imitations and not the real deal isn’t it? Seems that Motorola knows better on that.