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

“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.”

Read more in the full article here.

[UPDATE: 11:20am EDT: German court suspends injunction; all iPad and iPhone models to return for online sale in Germany shortly]


  1. Why didn’t Apple’s counsel show up to court? Sounds like Apple needs to fire that firm, because now the court awards Samsung this injunction by default. WOW what a slip up!

      1. Hmmm…I like the idea that Apple is playing the courts at their own game but there is always the chance of it backfiring if some dufous of a judge simply fails to understand the implications by giving Moto the benefit of doubt.
        Here’s hoping Moto ends up owing Apple loadsamoney if FRAND terms are enforced by the investigation into Samsung’s practices.

        1. It’s likely a well thought out strategy. Most of these patent infringement cases never come to fruition in court. Even if they do damages are rarely ever enforced as these judgements are usually just tools to help negotiate cross licensing deals.

      1. A German-speaking person (or more accurately, non-English speaker) has likely completely missed your pun. The way English-speakers pronounce the word furor is quite distinctly different from the actual pronunciation of the German word führer. Not to mention, when the latter word is used in English language, it only means one thing (i.e. refers to one particular person). In German, it means ‘leader’ (as in ‘Project Leader’, for example).

    1. Jay – there is no way they missed the court appointment by accident. Never happens in cases like this. It is part of the strategy, for sure. Take it from someone who practices law for a living.

  2. Let’s be blunt here: Motorolla would not exist as a company today if they did not go with Android which would not have been successful if it had not hijacked, pirated, and wholesale ripped off iPhone. Motorolla then exists because of theft.

    Everything Motorolla says and does should be understood through that fact.

  3. With all of the lawsuits, Samsung and Motorola ripping off apple, etc., Apple should launch a media campaign that will make the Android settlers look like Android settlers. I wanna see “hello I’m an iPhone, and I’m an Android” campaign! Perhaps they will win back consumers who realize their mistake. And once consumers start switching by the masses, these lawsuits will not be as relevant. Though it will always be relevant as they’re stealing technology.

    1. I see them myself. Still there. This is going to cause a frenzy in Germany, if this does come into effect. Germany will pretty much rebel and get their devices no matter what it takes.

    1. Why? Motorola didn’t place the injunction, the German courts did. If anyone caused damages, it’s them. Motorola requested the injunction but it didn’t need to be granted.

    1. Where is the official source on that? Slashgear does not list any and all the other source (9to5 and bgr) are just linking to Slashgear’s article.

      Just to clarify a matter: Motorola’s legal team argued why Apple is in breach of the FRAND patent. It was all detailed on FOSS patents.

      Apple attempted to negotiate the licensing for the FRAND patents in question. You cannot have it both ways. If it is FRAND then you have to get the same deal as everyone else. They failed to take the deal and went ahead and used the technology for years. Apple is in the wrong here.

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