At a hearing in Germany Friday in which Motorola is suing Apple over a MobileMe and iCloud-related patent, Apple’s lawyers put a price on a potential injunction on Apple products: $2.7 billion. It’s certainly a big number, but it’s not a real number – at least not yet.
Apple told the Mannheim, Germany, court that if it were to rule in Motorola’s favor and grant a temporary German ban on the sale of Apple products violating Motorola’s email syncing patent (devices that use MobileMe and iCloud, like the iPhone and iPad), $2.7 billion is the amount of money Apple could lose as a result. Florian Mueller, who has covered the case extensively at FOSS Patents, explains:
The purpose of such a bail is to ensure that an alleged infringer will be compensated if the enforced injunction is later overturned by an appellate court.
He also notes that the judge was a little skeptical about where Apple got that number and suspected the company was rounding a little high:
The court was wondering whether that hefty amount truly reflects the economic damages Apple would suffer from enforcement, given that the iCloud is only one Apple offering and doesn’t correspond to the entire value of its products. But Apple’s lawyers insisted that an enforcement against its product sales in Germany could result in damages of that magnitude.
An Apple representative declined to comment on the case.