Apple to put iPads, iPhones back on shelves in Germany

Apple to put iPads, iPhones back on shelves in Germany

Summary: After losing a patent fight with Motorola, Apple pulled its iPads and iPhones from store shelves but now has vowed to return them.

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Well, that was a quick turnaround.

Hours after Apple said it was pulling various iPhones and iPads from its German online store, the company turned around and said the products would be back shortly.

It all had to do with a ban that was placed on its products, based on Motorola Mobility successfully getting a ruling from a German court that Apple's products illegally used Motorola's 3G cellular technology. While the decision was in December, Motorola just now got around to enforcing the ban now, forcing Apple to initially decide to halt sales of iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, and iPhone 4 models and various 3G versions of the iPad because they carried technology related to 3G UMTS.

But Apple got a temporary stay of execution by arguing that the Motorola patent is essential to the industry, and should be licensed in under a fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory basis. Apple claimed Motorola wasn't being reasonable in negotiating a licensing deal, which puts the case back into limbo.

"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," said an Apple spokeswoman.

Motorola, meanwhile, said it would continue to defend its intellectual property.

"We are pleased that the Mannheim court has recognized the importance of our intellectual property and granted an enforceable injunction in Germany against Apple Sales International," said a Motorola spokeswoman. "Although the enforcement of the injunction has been temporarily suspended, Motorola Mobility will continue to pursue its claims against Apple."

Motorola argued that it had approached Apple in 2007 with fair licensing terms and attempted to work out a deal for three years.

"Apple's refusal to negotiate in good faith, as well as their aggressive litigation campaign against Android, left Motorola Mobility with no option other than to seek to enforce the company's rights and patent portfolio," Motorola said. The company added it remains committed to licensing rather than litigation.

The ongoing drama in Germany is but a small sliver of the wider legal clashes between Apple and Android vendors, including heavy hitters such as Samsung Electronics. Each case is an attempt to deliver a knockout blow to the other side, which would come in the form of a ban on all products. Such an extensive ban would force both sides to the negotiating table to sign a cross-licensing deal.

About Roger Cheng
Roger Cheng is an executive editor in charge of east coast operations for CNET News. Prior to this, he was on the telecommunications beat and wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal for nearly a decade. He's a hard-core Trojan alum and Los Angeles Lakers fan.

Topics: Smartphones, Apple, Hardware, iPhone, iPad, Mobility, Wi-Fi

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24 comments
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  • Kind of hard to pull out of a market of 80 million people

    I think some of the apple stubbornness is finally gone with Stevie J
    zmud
    • RE: Apple to put iPads, iPhones back on shelves in Germany

      @zmud How do you know Moto was being reasonable?
      non-biased
  • Apple claims that only its patents matter

    German courts shown that its patents are worthless and only patents held by FOSS companies are valid: http://techrights.org/2012/02/05/apple-banned/
    The Linux Geek
    • Seriously, stop posting links to spam sites.

      @The Linux Geek, your reputation as a mentally challenged individual does not grant you the right to post links to biased sites, much like the FSF "Kill Vista" sites, which add nothing to society except biased garbage from obvious zealot-driven content bent on trying to harm others in any way possible for their own gain. They could be called strawman sites.

      Please stop this practice. Seriously. You've polluted this and many other blogs long enough with your never changing cell pool of mindless BS.
      And I don't like Apple nor do I use Apple products, but your posts are unwelcome no matter the scenario.
      xuniL_z
      • RE: Apple to put iPads, iPhones back on shelves in Germany

        @xuniL_z Yes! Well said.
        j-mccurdy@...
    • RE: Apple to put iPads, iPhones back on shelves in Germany

      @The Linux Geek Do you ever have the feeling no one here takes you seriously? If not then you should.
      athynz
  • RE: Apple to put iPads, iPhones back on shelves in Germany

    Motorola is risking the fate of Samsung in trying to enforce "industry standard patents" in the EU.

    If Motorola had patents that Apple did not license, why would not Motorola sue Apple in the US?
    danbi
    • RE: Apple to put iPads, iPhones back on shelves in Germany

      @danbi They definitely have: http://thenextweb.com/apple/2012/01/25/motorola-mobility-sues-apple-in-the-us-over-six-products-including-the-iphone-4s/

      I just don't see how Apple could think that they have a stronger patent portfolio than the 6-7 companies they've been attacking. These guys have been making cell phones since the 80's, while the iPhone just came out in 2007. Good luck Apple, you're gonna need plenty of it.
      BigMagoo
      • RE: Apple to put iPads, iPhones back on shelves in Germany

        @BigMagoo You're right,they've been making CELL PHONES,but Apple started a SMARTPHONE industry. You feel the difference,don't you? We're all know,that the big tech giants like Apple,Samsung,Motorola and so on steal from each other, this is the fact. But all of these guys in a SMARTPHONE industry steal the ideas from Apple.This is the fact too.
        Maria Davidenko
      • RE: Apple to put iPads, iPhones back on shelves in Germany

        @BigMagoo I am writing in support of your comment against "mdavidenko2". Obviously, Mr "mdavidenko2" isn't intellectually advanced enough to realize that Microsoft and Handspring/Palm really started the SMARTPHONE industry. Apple, to give them credit, further enhance SMARTPHONE and delivered (noted the past tense) a lot of uniquely user-friendly features which the engineering-centric mindset at Microsoft (and perhaps Handspring also) refused to offer.
        WW_Thinker
      • RE: Apple to put iPads, iPhones back on shelves in Germany

        @mdavidenko2 [b]You're right,they've been making CELL PHONES,but Apple started a SMARTPHONE industry[/b]

        No Apple did not start the smartphone industry... they did reinvigorate it with the release of the original iPhone but they did not start it.
        athynz
  • I wouldn't lease it to Apple either...

    ...arrogant bunch that they are.
    garyleroy@...
    • You losers should just die!

      @garyleroy@... Apple hating geeks like you are the scum of the earth.

      You contribute nothing... only troll Apple articles to weasel in a cowardly jab.
      Bay Area CA Male
    • RE: Apple to put iPads, iPhones back on shelves in Germany

      @garyleroy@...

      Then they'll get investigated for anti-competitive practices, 3G is essential to the industry, they have to license it.
      the.nameless.drifter
    • RE: Apple to put iPads, iPhones back on shelves in Germany

      @garyleroy@... Guess you aren't a business man or know anything about business do you?
      non-biased
  • RE: Apple to put iPads, iPhones back on shelves in Germany

    Apple didn't invent the smartphone and touchscreen they just made it more user friendly. This whole back and fourth is just a waste of time. Apple has always been a patent enforcing company from the very beginning. I guess when the whole Windows and Mac OS incident happened that left a bad taste in their mouth :) I have been looking over some of the patents they are using and it is just mind boggling that people actually approved them. It was one when you have an email with a number in it, it will highlight the number so you can touch it to dial the number. I mean how do you get a patent for that!!! I'm working on a patent for hitting the "I" button on the keyboard. I'm about to get paid just from this article alone. lol. I can imagine if RIMM sells it's patents how much more ammo Google will have against Apple if they buy it.
    ibjermel
  • RE: Apple to put iPads, iPhones back on shelves in Germany

    Just let the competition drive the company and not the patents :D
    ibjermel
  • RE: Apple to put iPads, iPhones back on shelves in Germany

    @WW_Thinker ??First, not Mr "mdavidenko2",but Mrs. "mdavidenko2".Then ,I ??see you're intellectualy advanced enough,so you defined it in your nickname for everybody to know. :-) Funny.:-)
    Maria Davidenko
    • RE: Apple to put iPads, iPhones back on shelves in Germany

      @mdavidenko2

      Thats it? No intellectual counter argument for these people?

      @Pete "athynz" Athens
      @WW_Thinker
      @BigMagoo
      Papapau
  • RE: Apple to put iPads, iPhones back on shelves in Germany

    So only Apples patents matter and if somebody has been making phones god knows how how many times longer then theirs don't count. This is one reason why I hate Apple.
    j-mccurdy@...