Motorola pulls all tablets, most smartphones from German store

Summary:Motorola customers in Germany may have noticed their choice of Android-powered enterprise-ready smartphones and tablets are somewhat lacking in numbers.

Motorola Mobility is currently stocking only a fraction of the products it currently develops in Germany thanks to aggressive and successful litigation in recent months.

The mobile hardware maker has suffered a series of defeats in German courts after the firm was accused of patent infringement by software giant Microsoft. However, Motorola recently batted one victory to the back of the cage proving that Microsoft's litigious advances were not fool-proof.

A German regional court ruled earlier this week that a patent belonging to the Redmond, WA.-based company was not infringed by Motorola. In spite of Motorola's recent victory against Microsoft's claims, the previous injunctions remain in place.

Apple also had a hand to play in the ongoing playbook against Motorola after the phone maker infringed a European patents belonging to Apple, a software feature described as a 'rubber-banding' patent .

Motorola Mobility, which was bought by Google last year for $12.5 billion, currently offers this many handsets in Germany:

SM-motorola-de-phones
Motorola Mobility's German smartphone online store. Screenshot credit: ZDNet.

That's right. Only three devices are currently available in the German online Motorola store: the Motorola Razr i, the Motorola Razr HD, and the Motorola Gleam+ (all links are in German.) 

To make matters worse for the Android smartphone maker, the Google-owned division is currently offering this many tablets in Germany:

SM-motorola-de-tablets
Motorola Mobility's German tablet online store. Screenshot credit: ZDNet.

Rough translation: "Keine ergebnisse" means "no results." There's not a single Motorola-branded tablet on sale in the country. 

In a separate case last month, a Munich court said that Motorola Mobility must recall every Android smartphone and tablet that was then on sale in Germany that infringe a patent belonging to Apple . Depending on the cost that the Cupertino, CA.-based technology giant wants to splurge out, Motorola devices could be banned from sale, recalled from the market, or even destroyed. 

As FOSS Patents author Florian Mueller noted, who was one of the first to report the news after German technology news website Areamobile, despite Google buying the smartphone maker to protect Android from patent threats and courtroom litigation, Motorola Mobility "cannot even protect itself," says Mueller. 

According to Areamobile, a Motorola spokesperson said the patent infringing software was being "reworked," but offered no timeframe on when the devices would go back on sale.

While Motorola Mobility's market share in Germany could never exactly be called healthy, Android as a platform and operating system remains popular. 

Microsoft has already secured three separate injunctions against Motorola Mobility in Germany, which forced the Google-owned unit to pull many of its devices from the store shelves or modify the Android software  where software patents were infringed .

However, Microsoft's chief lawyers said in August that it would prefer to seek "patent peace " between the two companies. Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith and deputy general counsel Horacio Gutierrez said that Microsoft "always has been, and remains open to, a settlement of our patent litigation with Motorola."

Topics: Google, Legal, Patents, Smartphones, Tablets

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

zdnet_core.socialButton.googleLabel Contact Disclosure

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.