Apple was forced to remove 3G iOS devices except for iPhone 4S from the German online store. The removal was related to the enforcement of the injunction that Motorola had won back in December that prevented the sale of 3G iOS devices that infringed on Motorola’s patent.
Apple has issued the following statement earlier:
“Apple believes this old pager patent is invalid and we’re appealing the courts decision,” company spokesman Alan Hely said in an e-mailed statement.”
AllThingsD has just reported that a German court has temporarily suspended the injunction:
In a statement given to AllThingsD, Apple confirmed that the iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and 3G/UMTS-based iPads should be returning to the shelves of its German online store in a matter of hours.
“All iPad and iPhone models will be back on sale through Apple’s online store in Germany shortly,” an Apple spokeswoman told AllThingsD. “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.”
FOSS Patents has clarified that Apple has just received a temporary retrieve from the court until the legal issue raised by Apple has been adjudicated.
A statement by the appeals court clarifies that this temporary suspension will be in effect only for a limited period of time. The Mannheim ruling has not been overturned: this is just some temporary reprieve. In a best-case scenario for Apple, the suspension would have been in effect until the appeals court makes a decision on Apple’s appeal. In that case, it would have been in effect for well over a year — and that could still happen, but it need not.
Apple had tried to use the “FRAND” defense, claiming that the patent was essential to the 3G standard and needed “fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory” terms for licensing it, but had failed to convince the judge last time round as their offer to Motorola to use their patent was deemed insufficient by the regional court back in December. FOSS Patent reports that Apple has made a new offer to Motorola, but it remains to be seen if it successful when their appeal comes up for hearing.