Motorola (NYSE: MMI) Mobility today made a crucial advance against Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) in an ongoing patent case in Europe concerning iCloud and MobileMe. The news comes a day after Motorola Mobility came one step closer to its merger with Google (NSDQ: GOOG) when shareholders approved the deal yesterday.
The case, originally filed back in April, is a departure from the many Android-related suits that Apple is fighting against Samsung and others in multiple countries and focuses how Apple infringes on Motorola patents around the syncing of email.
Today’s date in court was a follow-up to a preliminary injunction ruling against Apple earlier this month — made, it seems, mainly because Apple did not appear in court.
Today, Apple was there, and it told the court how much it would be liable for if it eventually lost that case: €2 billion ($2.7 billion), according to a Bloomberg report (via Business Insider), which Motorola would have to put up in collateral as part of the legal process in the country. The judge appeared to reject that amount as too high.
But that is not all that happened. In today’s discussion the judge apparently also rejected many of Apple’s defense arguments and attempts to narrow the scope of the patents in question.
That could bode badly for Apple — which has had a mixed bag of success in its various patent legal against Android device makers. However, as Foss Patents notes, this is not the final word in the matter: the next court meeting concerning this case won’t be until February 3, 2012. That’s when the judge will reveal his conclusions, although no hearing of more arguments or evidence are scheduled for that day.