A new chapter in the legal battle between Apple and Motorola has been written today, as a German court has ruled that Motorola infringes on a slide-to-unlock patent held by Apple. According to Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents, the case involved three implementations of slide-to-unlock on Motorola devices — two on smartphones and one on tablets — and the court ruled in Apple's favor on the two phone-related applications, but it did not grant Apple a win against the circular unlock method used by the XOOM. The decision has resulted in a permanent injunction that Apple may or may not decide to enforce.
So now what? Unsurprisingly, Motorola will likely try to appeal the decision, at which point Mueller believes that Apple could also try to get a win on the third, tablet-related implementation involved in the case. Apple and Motorola have been going back and forth in the courts quite a bit as of late, and the Cupertino firm is also involved in an ever-growing battle with Samsung. Exactly what the next major development will be in the huge legal war going on in the mobile world remains to be seen, but considering how many different lawsuits are flying around right now, I wouldn't be surprised if we heard something sooner rather than later. Stay tuned.