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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