Apple removes iPads, iPhones from German online store due to Motorola injunction based on FRAND patent

“There are two big Apple-Motorola news items from Germany today,” Florian Mueller reports for FOSS Patents.
• As I reported earlier, Motorola Mobility today won a permanent injunction against the push email feature of Apple’s iCloud and the related client devices. As a result, German Apple customers using the iCloud (or MobileMe) email service will probably have to configure their clients so as to check periodically for new email, as opposed to getting BlackBerry-style updates pushed to them.

• The leading German news agency, dpa (Deutsche Presse-Agentur), quotes an official Apple statement according to which the company has just removed, as a result of an injunction Motorola won in Mannheim over a FRAND-pledged patents declared essential to an industry standard, several 3G/UMTS-capable products from its German online store: the iPhone 3G, the iPhone 3GS, and the iPhone 4 (but not the iPhone 4S), and all 3G/UMTS-capable iPads.

“Apple points out that this affects only the German online store,” Mueller reports. “Customers can still buy the product from retailers, including Apple’s own signature stores — but Motorola is also trying to enforce those same patents against Apple Inc., Apple’s U.S. parent company (in fact, it already won a default judgment based on those patents, due to a no-show by Apple’s counsel).”

Mueller writes, “The enforcement of a FRAND-pledged standards-essential patent is a major issue. The European Commission is already investigating Samsung because it also ‘sought injunctive relief’ (though unsuccessfully to date) based on such patents. Motorola could be investigated over the same issue, but since the EU is also reviewing Google’s proposed acquisition of MMI, it presumably prefers to focus on the merger review, at least for the time being.”


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