The German court has ruled that the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and iPad 2 with 3G connectivity may no longer be sold on the official Apple website. The court ruled that Apple is infringing on 3G patents that are owned by Motorola. Apple would also violate a number of patents that relate to iCloud and devices that are making use of the service.
Apple immediately stopped sales of the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and iPad 2 on their German Apple store website. The sales stop is a result of the ruling by the German court, Apple has been using patents of Motorola that relate to 3G connectivity. This doesn’t come as a surprise as the judge already ruled in December that Apple was infringing on Motorola’s patents that describes a technique for data communication. The court now ruled that Apple must discontinue its sales of the devices that make use of this 3G technology.
The iPhone 4S isn’t included in this ruling and can still be sold via the Apple site. Apple is currently only allowed to sell the Wi-Fi models of the iPad 2; the version with 3G connectivity is no longer available on the website. The iPad 2 with 3G will be available via distributors and the official Apple Stores.
Friday also served another lawsuit between Apple and Motorola. According to the court in Mannheim (Germany), Apple is also violating another patent of Motorola that relates to the iCloud service. This not only relates to the service but also to products like the iPhone and iPad. The ruling is a so-called “permanent injunction” and is result of the lawsuit that had been started by Motorola in April 2011, when the iCloud service was named MobileMe, Apple can still appeal and is expected to do so.
Patent expert Florian Mueller writes on his blog that it is not clear whether this will result in an overall sales ban in Germany, it is possible that all devices that make use of the iCloud server will be banned from sales. If Motorola chooses to ban these Apple products they have to pay a deposit of 100 million euro’s, because the decision can be reversed if Apple decides to appeal. Apple requested that the deposit would have been set on 2 billion euro’s.