Apple removes, then puts back, iPhones from German online store

Citizens of Germany who wanted to buy an iPhone or iPad from Apple's online web store were out of luck for a few hours today. FOSS Patents reports that number of those products were removed from Apple's online web site in Germany, although those products could be purchased in brick and mortar retail stores in that country. The products affected by this move included the iPhone 3G, the iPhone 3GS, and the iPhone 4 but not the new iPhone 4S. It also affect all of the 3G-UMTS versions of the iPad.

The reason for this move may have to do with a patent dispute between Apple and Motorola. FOSS Patents reports that back in December, Motorola won an injunction which claimed that Apple's 3G-UMTS technology infringed upon one of Motorola's European patents.

However, it looks like the tables have turned, at least for now. The BBC reports that Apple has announced that a German court has overturned the injunction with Apple stating, "All iPad and iPhone models will be back on sale through Apple's online store in Germany shortly."

It's clear that these kinds of patent disputes between technology companies will be continuing for some time. The real victims will be consumers who are in the middle of all these patent battles.

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10 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Btw, this is only temporary.. they paid $120 million euros bond to get a temporary suspension of the ban. It is NOT overturned.

Basically what has happened here is that Apple used Motorola's patents after being offered several times by Motorola a reasonable fee for licensing under FRAND.

Now, when they lost the case, now they are saying "WHAAAAA we are entitled to license it under fair terms!!!!"..

Well that's not how it goes dipsh*ts. You will first pay AMOUNTS of money that you OWE Motorola by using industry standard patents without wanting to pay and this does NOT fall under FRAND and Motorola can ask whatever amount they want for the past damages and loss while Apple was piling up cash in their pockets based on their technology.

But since everything is corrupted I'm sure they will pay a billion or more to bribe German courts to get a reversal even though legally there is no saying that Motorola is fully in the right here.

Edited by Boz, Feb 4 2012, 7:54am :

Sonic. said,
Did Apple bribe the court?

This article is lacking information. Apple appealed the ruling because Apple said that Motorola repeatedly refused to licence the 3G/UMTS patent in question under FRAND terms. Those patents were declared an industry standard patent seven years ago.

Because FRAND patents are deemed essential in implementing open industry standards such as 3G and WiFi, an attempt to use them as leverage against a competitor would be considered anti-competitive. Since Apple tried multiple time to licence those patents, and getting a refusal from Motorola, Motorola could now face investigation from the European Comission should Apple manage to prove that Motorola is not abiding by FRAND guidelines.

Samsung is currently under investigation from the European Commission for similar behaviours.

Sonic. said,
Did Apple bribe the court?

Of course they have.. they said they would be "lobbying" to over turn the legally won case. Basically they probably shelled out massive amounts of money to bribe everyone and their mothers in German court.

imachip said,
It really is a stupid tug of war. They should both grow up.

Agreed. License things like MS has and just get over it already.

techbeck said,

Agreed. License things like MS has and just get over it already.

But its Apple. So like jobs ranted about blue Ray and Apple tv. Apple must say:


PEOPLE DON'T WANT US TO LICENSE. IT IS THAT SIMPLE. PEOPLE ONLY WANT TO USE APPLE PRODUCTS. IT IA THAT SIMPLE. THIS IS SOMETHING OUR COMPETORS HAVE A REAL HARD TIME UNDERSTANDING. WHEN YOU LICENSE YOU GET IN TO TROUBLE AND NO ONE WANTS TROUBLE. YUCK!

techbeck said,

Agreed. License things like MS has and just get over it already.

This article is lacking information. Apple appealed the ruling because Apple said that Motorola repeatedly refused to licence the 3G/UMTS patent in question under FRAND terms. Those patents were declared an industry standard patent seven years ago.

Because FRAND patents are deemed essential in implementing open industry standards such as 3G and WiFi, an attempt to use them as leverage against a competitor would be considered anti-competitive. Since Apple tried multiple time to licence those patents, and getting a refusal from Motorola, Motorola could now face investigation from the European Comission should Apple manage to prove that Motorola is not abiding by FRAND guidelines.

Samsung is currently under investigation from the European Commission for similar behaviours.