The German court system has been busy this week. Just yesterday, a judge ruled that Motorola had infringed upon Microsoft's patent. Motorola now faces a sales ban in the country. They can at least be thankful that a German court didn't rule against them twice in one week.
FOSS Patents is reporting that Apple has lost a patent case they brought against both Motorola and Samsung in Germany. The patent in question covers "multi-point and multi-touch enable devices in general, and more specifically in recognizing single and multiple point and touch events in multi-point and multi-touch enabled devices." FOSS points out that a win for Apple would have required Motorola and Samsung to rewrite several apps since the patent in question covers basic core functionality.
This is a win for Samsung and Motorola against Apple's global patent litigation, but it hardly wins the war. There are still multiple lawsuits going on around the world. The significance of this case lies in the fact that Apple has lost every lawsuit in regards to this particular patent so far. It's been proved in courts around the world that Apple's patents either don't apply or are invalid when it comes to core functionality.
Apple has numerous other patents that they are going after their rivals with. The other parents also relate to core functionality that we have come to expect in smartphones. If Apple wins these cases, Android phones will be forced to change their core functionality to something far more unintuitive.
For now, we'll continue to watch these cases as they evolve. The lawsuits may be happening across Europe, but they could have an effect on how U.S. patent lawsuits are decided. Samsung is appealing a jury's decision to award Apple $1 billion in damages. It will be interesting to see how the case is decided if, and when, it reaches higher courts.