Motorola wins iCloud injunction; iPhone, iPad temporarily pulled from online store

Summary:Apple has lost out on two counts. Not only has it suffered a blow to its iCloud service in Germany, the company has also pulled most models of its iPhone and iPad from its online stores

Update: see below.

Another patent headache this morning closed, as Motorola wins a permanent injunction against Apple's iCloud service in Germany.

Motorola Mobility, which is currently undergoing an acquisition bid by Google for $12.5 billion, took Apple's European sales branch, based in Ireland, to court in April 2011.

The issue focuses on the email-push service that iCloud provides, which as a result of today's ruling now infringes Motorola's patents. The patent allows for the "multiple pager status synchronization system and method". But this only targets to Apple's Ireland-based center, which in turn only applies to the German market. The injunction is not Europe-wide.

While iCloud has not been pulled, the service is thought to be undergoing a modification to remove such functionality. While this does not render iCloud's email service useless, it means users will have to configure their devices for scheduled and periodic updates.

Apple is expected to appeal. However, Motorola must risk a €100 million bond --- and the potential for other huge damages --- if Apple wins a later appeal against the decision. Apple had sought a €2 billion bond last year, but it was denied.

Update: Apple temporarily pulled all of its iPhone smartphones from the German market, with the exception of the latest iPhone 4S, which is still on sale. 3G-enabled iPads were also pulled from the store.

But Apple has won a temporary suspension of the enforcement of the injunction, meaning Apple can continue to sell the patent infringing devices in its online store until a later date.

The ruling comes from a December hearing in which Motorola won an injunction against Apple, on the grounds that its 3G-technology infringes on Motorola's European-held patents.

An Apple spokesperson said: "While iPad and iPhone models are currently unavailable in our [German] online store, our customers will still be able to find these devices in stores or at authorised retailers."

Image source: Apple/ZDNet.

Related:

Topics: Apple, Banking, Cloud, Enterprise Software, iPhone, Mobility, Security

About

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

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