Apple temporarily removes 3G-enabled iPhone and iPad devices, with exception of iPhone 4S, from German online store [UPDATE]

Apple removes 3G iPhone and iPad devices from German online store

Apple has been forced to remove almost all 3G-enabled iPhones and iPads from its online store in Germany, including the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and iPad 2 WiFi + 3G, but NOT including iPhone 4S due to an injunction won by Motorola Mobility. Foss Patents reports:

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.

This all stems from Motorola's December win around a FRAND (fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory) patent pertaining to 3G/UMTS standards. In addition, iCloud users in Germany will no longer have access to push mail over iCloud MobileMe, and will instead need to rely on manually pulling email messages from Apple's servers.

The iPhone 4S was not included because of the difference in the 3G chip configuration. Also, all of the effected units will still be sold through local retailers, including official Apple Stores.

The EU, however, is taking an interest in cases like this, where FRAND patents may or may not be being misused.

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.

Like the injunctions Apple has won and lost against Samsung, this is far from over.

Source: FOSS Patents

[UPDATE]

SlashGear reports the injunction has been suspended, and all effected products are once again available on Apple'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.”

iCloud is still unavailable in Germany, however, as the suspended injunction in question only pertains to the 3G/UMTS patents involved.

Source: SlashGear

Andrew Wray

Andrew Wray is a Salt Lake City, Utah based writer who focuses on news, how-tos, and jailbreak. Andrew also enjoys running, spending time with his daughter, and jamming out on his guitar. He works in a management position for Unisys Technical Services, a subsidiary of Unisys Corporation.

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Reader comments

Apple temporarily removes 3G-enabled iPhone and iPad devices, with exception of iPhone 4S, from German online store [UPDATE]

13 Comments

Wow...good to be in the u s of a...and what are they going to do with the people that already have an iPhone...how do they regulate that...is it a separate ios that is sent out that disables 3G entirely?

affected, not effected
/end grammar nitpick
Hopefully, Apple will lose the appeal. And then hopefully, Apple will get some more Samsung products banned somewhere else. And, for the heck of it, let's get some Microsoft/Nokia products enjoined, too. It seems like nothing about the system will change until a significant number of consumers are hurt, so come on, judges -- let's get this broken system past that breaking point sooner rather than later.

Funny thing is in the end Apple will have to pay Motorola for licensing. Millions of dollars for Moto for Apples work.

God U guys are amateurs! All 3G IPads, iPhone 4 and 3GS are NOT available to buy online on the German Apple Store...still! Why do you trust some idiot web site?

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