Thanks to a recent German appeals court ruling, iCloud users in Germany can now once again use push mail notifications, after about 18 months of doing without.
Applein the country last February, after a German court granted a permanent injunction against the service in a court case brought by Motorola, which had claimed that the functionality was tantamount to an infringement on one of its 1990s-era patents.
Since then, Apple's support page has informed iCloud users in Germany that push email service was unavailable, and advised them to instead enable pull mail notifications, in which a device checks for email at specified times. Apple promised to appeal the decision, and said that Motorola's patent claim was invalid.
Now, according to an Apple service note posted on 1 October, iCloud's push mail features can once again be used by customers in Germany. The reason, according to patent expert Florian Mueller, is that a German court of appeals has temporarily stayed Motorola's injunction, in exchange for a €100m bond from Apple. The court will continue to examine the case, to come to a permanent decision.
The ruling comes in the wake of several other setbacks for Motorola, in a global thrust by the company to litigate push mail patent claims. In May of last year, a German courtto enforce a patent infringement claim regarding push mail functionality in Microsoft's Exchange and Hotmail services. A similar ruling was handed down by a UK court in December in a case involving Microsoft, once again brought by Google-owned Motorola.
The Motorola patent in question is one that was filed in Europe in 1996, for an invention that facilitated messaging through two-way pagers.