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Patent Wars: Apple, Motorola Still Battling Away In Germany

February 27, 2012

A Germany appeals court ruled in favor of Apple this week over Motorola Mobility Holdings, blocking the enforcement of a patent verdict obtained by Motorola in December.

Motorola Mobility forced Apple to remove some iPad and iPhone models from its Germany online store for a short period last year, but the latest announcement from the court says it cannot enforce the verdict during an appeal.

According to Bloomberg, the ruling was issued after Apple revised license-agreement terms it offered Motorola.

“At the current state of the proceedings, it is to be assumed that Motorola Mobility would violate its duties under antitrust rules if it continues to ask Apple to stop the sales,” the court wrote in an emailed statement to Bloomberg.

The court said Motorola would be violating its duties if it does not accept the new offer, and thus can’t make use of the verdict during an appeal.

Despite partially winning in the appeals court, Apple still is having to turn off its “push” setting for iPhone and iPad users in Germany due to an old Motorola patent.

This is the first time users have been directly affected by the smartphone industry’s global patent wars.

Apple told German users that push notifications for iCloud and MobileMe services were disabled last night.

Users will now have to manually collect their emails by refreshing their inbox, as opposed to Apple’s “push” technology, which sees that emails go into a user’s inbox automatically

Apple is being forced to do this due to an old Motorola pager patent, which Apple claims is outdated and invalid.

“Apple believes this old pager patent is invalid and we´re appealing the court´s decision,” the company told its German users.

Apple won a patent battle against Motorola in Munich last week, forcing the company to stop using a “slide to unlock” feature in its future smartphones.

Florian Mueller, a German intellectual property expert, told Telegraph that Motorola´s “old pager patent” is unlikely to come under the scope of any European Commission investigation because it is not cover standard technology.

“This is the first time that Apple’s customers have started to see and feel the effects of the ongoing patent disputes in the smartphone and tablet computer industry in the form of a removal of certain functionality,” he told Telegraph.

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Source: RedOrbit Staff & Wire Reports



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