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[Update: Lenovo with a statement] Sales ban on Motorola and Lenovo smartphones and notebooks

With immediate effect, Motorola is no longer allowed to offer smartphones and Lenovo notebooks with mobile modems in Germany. The background to this is the ruling by the Munich Regional Court: Lenovo, which also owns Motorola, is using a patent from the US company InterDigital without a license.

Update May 14th: Lenovo announces statement

Lenovo Germany has once again confirmed the sales ban. The provisional enforcement of the judgment leads to a sales ban on all products with a WWAN module by Lenovo (Deutschland) GmbH. This affects all Motorola smartphones as well as all mobile-enabled laptop PCs, laptop/tablet hybrid devices, desktop PCs and workstations as well as tablet computers. In a statement, Lenovo said:

“As a global technology leader Lenovo respects the effort and investment that drive innovation, and we are both a licensor and a willing licensee of intellectual property. Regarding the Interdigital (IDC) case, we respect the Munich Court’s decision but do not agree with it given our belief that IDC has violated its own legal obligations to license its technology on Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) terms to either Lenovo or our third-party suppliers. Access to standardized technology on FRAND terms is critical to the future of the global tech industry; we will continue to fight for transparency in licensing negotiations and against companies seeking excessive rates for their patent portfolios. Innovation must be both accessible and affordable, and IDC’s unreasonable global patent licensing behaviors and fees disadvantage German customers, especially consumers by reducing access to the latest technologies and driving up prices for tech products. We look forward to the next stage of the proceedings and our appeal.”

Sales ban for Motorola and Lenovo

Now that the sales ban on devices from the BBK Group, including Oppo and OnePlus, has been lifted for Germany, the next manufacturer has been hit. According to a ruling by the Munich Regional Court and reported by WirtschaftsWoche, this time it concerns the Chinese company Lenovo.

The background to this is a patent dispute involving the US developer InterDigital, which relates to mobile phone modes in 4G and 5G operation. Although Lenovo can still appeal against the ruling, the ban on the sale of Motorola smartphones and Lenovo notebooks and tablets equipped with a cellular modem (WWAN modem) is effective immediately. This is also because InterDigital has already paid a deposit of four million euros to the court.

The judgment (AZ: 7 O 12029/23) is therefore already in provisional enforcement. “The defendants are prohibited from offering patent-infringing items in Germany […] or importing them, ” a spokeswoman for the court told WirtschaftsWoche. Damages are also to be paid.

In the UK, Lenovo was awarded justice in the dispute against InterDigital in June 2023. The license fee charged by InterDigital for each end device was too high, but the verdict in Germany was different.

It remains to be seen how the court of appeal in Germany will view this. The fact is that Motorola’s German website and that of Lenovo no longer stock notebooks, tablets and smartphones with a WWAN module. The recently launched smartphones such as the Motorola Edge 50 Ultra will therefore not be released in Germany – at least for the time being.

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With immediate effect, Motorola is no longer allowed to offer smartphones and Lenovo notebooks with mobile modems in Germany. The background to this is the ruling by the Munich Regional Court: Lenovo, which also owns Motorola, is using a patent from the US company InterDigital without a license. Sales ban for Motorola and Lenovo Now that the sales ban on devices from the BBK Group, including Oppo and OnePlus, has been lifted for Germany, the next manufacturer has been hit. According to a ruling by the Munich Regional Court and reported by WirtschaftsWoche, this time it concerns the Chinese company … (Weiterlesen...)

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