German Court Places Ban On Apple 3G Device – And Then Lifts The Ban

In what seems a dramatic turns of events at German courts, in an earlier ruling yesterday, Apple was told by the court to remove all 3G devices from sales in Germany after the court ruled in favor of Motrola. These devices were being sold through the online Apple Store. Apple remove all it’s 3G devices except iPhone 4S which perhaps was not part of the case filed by Motorola. However, within a few hours of this, Apple issued an official statement that it ‘has been granted a suspension of the German injunction’ and that it’s 3G devices will be back soon.

The whole issue is about FRAND patents. Apple claims that these are industry-standard patents and that Motorola should let Apple have them on ‘reasonable terms.’ As it is, Motorola refuses to give them to Apple on reasonable terms, demanding 2.25% of the overall sales of Apple. The court proceeding and the decision of the German court  came in these words,

“The Mannheim Regional Court found Apple infringed a patent used to synchronize e-mail accounts. The ruling also allows Motorola Mobility to ask Apple for information about past sales and holds Apple liable for damages, Presiding Judge Andreas Voss said in delivering the ruling.

“The court has come to the conclusion that the wording of the patent does cover functioning that were at issue here,” said Voss. Apple “wasn’t able to convince the court that it isn’t infringing.”

The ban was very significant for Germany where a number of Samsung products were already banned and now the axe fell on Apple. However, Apple was quick to get a suspension of the German court’s injunction. A statement from Apple said,

“Apple has been granted a suspension of the German injunction against 3G-enabled iOS devices, with the iPad WiFi + 3G, iPhone 4 and other gadgets back on sale through the company’s online store. ”All iPad and iPhone models will be back on sale through Apple’s online store in Germany shortly” the company told us in a statement. “Apple appealed 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.”

This means that Apple’s 3G products will be available in Germany, at least for now.

Image courtesy Micky.

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Salman Latif is a software engineer with a specific interest in social media, big data and real-world solutions using the two.Other than that, he is a bit of a gypsy. He also writes in his own blog. You can find him on Google+ and Twitter .

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