Apple's iCloud push mail service restored in Germany

Motorola's patent injunction temporarily stayed after Apple reportedly ponied up a €100m bond.

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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.

Apple turned off iCloud's push mail services in 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 court halted a similar attempt by Motorola to 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.

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