Feeds

iPhones yanked from German shelves in Motorola patent war

Apple takes down 4 and 3G models - for now

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

Apple has removed the iPhone 4 and 3Gs from its stores in Germany, almost certainly in response to Motorola's December action rather than today's patent win.

But today's German court victory for Motorola is probably more important: it covers Apple's iCloud service and – by extension – any device which uses it. Apple will be appealing that decision, and Motorola can't get the decision enforced without lodging a €100m bond to cover restitution in case Apple wins the appeal.

But it seems Motorola has done exactly that with reference to its December win, forcing Apple to pull the iPhone 4 and 3Gs, and the cellular-supporting iPad, from the German Apple store.

That December ruling was based on a patent which is declared essential to the 3G standard, and therefore should be licensed under Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) rules, but Motorola reckons Apple tried to have conditions attached to the licence relieving Motorola of its FRAND obligations.

The German court agreed, though the matter is still subject to appeal. Apple asked the court to impose a €2bn bond on enforcement, money it would be entitled to claim against if it wins the appeal, but the court reckoned €100m would be enough to avoid frivolous enforcement and Apple is still free to claim for more - if it wins the appeal.

We don't know if Motorola, or Google, will stump up another €100m to force Germans to switch off iCloud. Florian Mueller, who spends a good deal of time looking at such things, reckons German Apple users could be required to start pulling their MobileMe emails (as opposed to having messages pushed to them, as that's covered by the Motorola patent).

He also hypothesises that the iPhone 4S is still on German shelves as it uses a radio chip from Qualcomm, which might well have a licence from Motorola, as opposed to the Intel chips used in the iPad as well as earlier models of iPhone.

We've reached out to Apple for confirmation on those points, and heard nothing back so far, but Cupertino has been a good deal more chatty lately so we'll let you know if we hear more.

The cold war between Google and Apple is obviously heating up. Although the ruling won't be applicable outside Germany, it has resulted in Apple products being pulled from the shelves, and won't be the last blood spilled before this is over. ®

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Bring back error correction, say Danish 'net boffins
We don't need no steenkin' TCP/IP retransmission and the congestion it causes
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
What FTC lawsuit? T-Mobile US touts 10GB, $100 family-of-4 plan
Folks 'could use that money for more important things' says CEO Legere
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.