Apple Forced to Remove Devices From Sale as Motorola Wins Another Injunction
Motorola has won a permanent injunction against the push email feature of Apple's MobileMe/iCloud service and Apple has removed the iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, and 3G iPads from its online store in Germany, according to FOSS Patents.
Although coincidental, the two events are likely not connected. The permanent injunction against push email wouldn't require Apple to remove products from sale. Rather customers may be forced to check for emails at intervals rather than be notified the second a new email arrives. Apple says that it is already appealing the decision.
"Apple believes this old pager patent is invalid and we're appealing the courts decision," Apple told paidContent in an emailed statement.
The removal of Apple devices is thought to be the result of Motorola Mobility's enforcement of a December ruling that found Apple infringed on European Patent 1010336 (B1) on a "method for performing a countdown function during a mobile-originated transfer for a packet radio system". To enforce the ruling Motorola needed to post a $100 million euro bond in case the ruling gets overturned.
The patent in question was declared essential to the General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) standard so its unclear how Motorola was able to win the injunction. Apple says it will appeal.
"While some iPad and iPhone models are not available through Apple's online store in Germany right now, customers should have no problem finding them at one of our retail stores or an authorised reseller. Apple is appealing this ruling because Motorola repeatedly refuses to license this patent to Apple on reasonable terms, despite having declared it an industry standard patent seven years ago."