Apple forced to remove select iOS devices from German online store, following December ruling [UPDATE]
Apple has ceased online sales of its iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, and the 3G-equipped iPad 2 in Germany after Motorola posted a $133 million dollar bond to enforce a December injunction
Apple has been forced to remove the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, and 3G iPad 2 from its Germany online store today, following a preliminary injunction issued in December. The ban comes as Motorola, who won the December injunction over Apple, posted a $133 million bond to enforce the ruling.
The ban is the result of a patent complaint filed against Apple by Motorola in Germany, claiming Apple’s iOS devices with embedded 3G infringe on a Motorola patent. Earlier this month, Motorola filed a new complaint against Apple's new smartphone, the iPhone 4S.
All 3G iPhones and iPads are still available in German retail Apple stores and authorized dealers, with only the online stores being affected. The retail stores will not be able to receive further shipments of devices, however, which could be a problem considering how fast iOS devices are flying off shelves.
Enforcement of the ban by Motorola is a huge financial risk and one some are questioning. If Apple successfully appeals the ban, then Motorola will not only lose that $133 million bond but face whatever damages the appeals court decides are fair. Basically, the company will be on the hook and Apple could receive a major pay out.
All said and done, I can't wait to see how this one plays out. The case will likely land in Germany Appeals Court Later this year.
[Update: And just like that, the sales ban has been temporary lifted. According to Apple in a statement,"All iPad and iPhone models will be back on sale through Apple's online store in Germany shortly. 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."]