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Friday, February 03, 2012
Apple Temporarily Pulled iPads and iPhones in Germany

Apple's German online store shows that all 3G models of its iPad 2 are today (Friday) unavailable for purchase, after Motorola Mobility enforced a patent injunction against the company.

The move follows a December ruling that Apple had failed to license one of Motorola's wireless intellectual properties.

Later within the day (Friday) Apple said it was cleared to resume selling older models of its iPhone and 3G-based iPads via its German online store soon, after the suspension of the injunction won by Motorola in December. However, the compay did not say when exactly the online sales would be resumed.

The dispute may eventually pit Apple against Google, as the search giant is in the process of taking over the Motorola. The deal still needs to clear the competition authorities.

Apple's iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 are all affected - but not its newer iPhone 4S. All 3G models of the iPad are involved, but not their wi-fi-only counterparts. Apple's German customers should have no problem finding the afected devices at one of the company's four retail stores or an authorised reseller.

Last December, the court in Manheim, Germany had ruled that Apple's European sales company, Ireland-based Apple Sales International, was infringing one of Motorola Mobility's core cellular communications patents related to data packet transfer technology (GPRS) through its sales of the iPhone and iPad devices. The Court had granted Motorola Mobility's requests for an injunction and damages.

Although the two cases only apply to Germany they may have implications for other European lawsuits. EU rules say different countries' courts can reach different conclusions.

Separately, the a German court granted Motorola's request to permanently ban Apple's push e-mail services, a key feature of its iCloud offering.

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