Apple pulls all 3G iOS devices but iPhone 4S from German online store

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014


Apple has removed all 3G/UMTS-capable iPad and iPhone models from its German online store in response to an injunction based on a wireless standard FRAND patent owned by Motorola Mobility.



According to a Friday report by German language news agency dpa (Deutsche Presse-Agentur), Apple has taken down () 3G iPads and iPhones from its online storefront in compliance of an injunction Motorola won in Mannheim in December 2011.



The news comes mere hours after another Motorola court win in Germany, however that suit pertains to an unrelated patent and has no bearing on the online Apple Store's product removal.



All versions of Apple's 3G/UMTS-capable iPad, including the iPad 2, the iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 were pulled from the company's German site as the products were ruled as infringing on a Motorola declared-essential GPRS patent.



The Droid RAZR maker has apparently decided to post the 100 million euro bond required to enforce the injunction, though it is unclear as to why it waited two months to do so.



FOSS Patents' Florian Mueller, who attended the December hearing, points out that the next generation iPhone 4S is not included in the injunction because it uses a baseband chip made by Qualcomm while older 3G-capable iDevices were built around chips from Infineon/Intel. He goes on to say that if Motorola and Qualcomm have a cross-license agreement, Apple's newest handset is most likely covered by patent exhaustion as a patent owner can only be paid once for same use of its intellectual property.





The iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 are designated "derzeit nicht verfugbar," or "currently unavailable" | Source: Apple







Mueller notes that Motorola is also attempting to enforce the same patents that brought about the product removal against Apple Inc. in the U.S., and the company has already won a default German judgment due to a "no-show" by Apple's legal team.



All of the products affected by the injunction can still be purchased at German brick-and-mortar shops including the Apple Store.



[ View article on AppleInsider ]

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 104
    kreshkresh Posts: 379member
    karma
  • Reply 2 of 104
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kresh View Post


    karma



    Never mind that these are FRAND patents and that Motorola will be investigated for them, leading to a potential payment by them to Apple for the lost revenue.



    This article is basically slapppy, DaHarder, Galbi, (and you know the other twenty)'s wet dream.
  • Reply 3 of 104
    801801 Posts: 271member
    Interesting socioeconomic experiment also pertaining to the Ipad name trademark issue in China. Curious as to how this will affect public perception of Motorola vs. Apple in Germany, impact of sales, social freedom issues, grey market sales.



    Also good experiment on reaction of western culture free market vs. eastern culture free market. A graduate level thesis in here eventually.
  • Reply 4 of 104
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 801 View Post


    Interesting socioeconomic experiment also pertaining to the Ipad name trademark issue in China. Curious as to how this will affect public perception of Motorola vs. Apple in Germany, impact of sales, social freedom issues, grey market sales.



    Also good experiment on reaction of western culture free market vs. eastern culture free market. A graduate level thesis in here eventually.



    I almost miss college.



    Edit: well I miss college, but for different reasons
  • Reply 5 of 104
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member
    Cue responses from experts in German IP law...



    EDIT: Tallest Skill gets in there before I can post.
  • Reply 6 of 104
    mmnwmmnw Posts: 4member
    The timing of Apples "compliance" with the injunctions is interesting. The european commission ramped up it's investigation into Samsung this week over FRAND-patens. Many observers also called upon Motorola in this matter. This could backfire for Motorola/Google in the long run, if the EC will investigate them, too.



    Also, this will have nearly no impact on Apple at all. Most phones in Germany are purchased on a subsidiary plan from telco providers, including iPhones and UMTS-iPads. Of course, Apple does not provide numbers. But if you look at numbers presented from wireless providers, most of Apple's german sales are made through providers and other third party resales. All of them are not covered by the injunction.
  • Reply 7 of 104
    mmnwmmnw Posts: 4member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Never mind that these are FRAND patents and that Motorola will be investigated for them, leading to a potential payment by them to Apple for the lost revenue.



    This article is basically slapppy, DaHarder, Galbi, (and you know the other twenty)'s wet dream.



    What I find especially interesting is, that it was not clear at this time, if Motorola actually posted the necessary security deposit for the injunction to become valid. This deposit is usually mandatory with preliminary injunctions, to cover possible damages if the injunction is revoked.
  • Reply 8 of 104
    nairbnairb Posts: 253member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Never mind that these are FRAND patents and that Motorola will be investigated for them, leading to a potential payment by them to Apple for the lost revenue.



    This article is basically slapppy, DaHarder, Galbi, (and you know the other twenty)'s wet dream.





    As Apple refused to sign the FRAND agreement, but rather wanted to sign another agreement with FRAND clauses and prices included, they forgeit their FRAND rights. Motorala were not obliged to licence the patents to Apple under this altered agreement. At least that is how this judge sees it. Apple can enter a FRAND agreement and get the ban lifted instantly but in doing so they forfeit their right to fight the patent itself which is what they want to do. It also opens the door for Motorola to ask a higher than FRAND payment for items already sold outside of the FRAND agreement.



    It all comes down to if Apple want to fight this all the way, and then seeing who wins. I believe that Apple know they are violating patents but think they can have the patent invalidated in a court battle.



    The Samsung one is a totally different situation because Samsung are arguing they should have more than FRAND payments for FRAND patents. I doubt that Samsung will be penalised heavily for this as they are trying this out against Apple, not an up and coming company that doesnt have the cash to fight Samsung in any arena they wish.



    Motorola will not be investigated for trying to enforce a patent that Apple have refused to sign a FRAND agreement for. Had Apple signed the agreement it would be another story.





    That is a lay man's interpretation based on what I have read over the last few months. Of course it is only as good as the reliability of my information.
  • Reply 9 of 104
    irnchrizirnchriz Posts: 1,586member
    This gives Motorola a good bargaining chip if they lose the upcoming cases with Apple in the USA and have to withdraw their products. Ultimately it will come down to a trade of patents and licenses etc but I can't see that happening for a long while yet. I have no idea how well Apple is doing in Germany but if they have a large fan base it will not do Moto's PR much good.
  • Reply 10 of 104
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Nairb View Post


    ...but rather wanted to sign another agreement with FRAND clauses and prices included...



    I believe you meant to say that Apple's counter-offer had non-FRAND clauses. That's the reason Motorola was permitted to reject it.



    Quote:

    Had Apple signed the agreement it would be another story.



    Indeed. In addition, had Motorola's initial offer been non-FRAND to begin with, it also would have been another story.



    Otherwise, layman-to-layman, I think you summarized the situation very nicely.
  • Reply 11 of 104
    What this means big picture is anyone's guess.



    I'm going to wager, not much, and everything will be resolved soon enough.
  • Reply 12 of 104
    drdoppiodrdoppio Posts: 1,132member
    Well, it's unfortunate to see these lawsuits giving actual results. In the end of the day, only the consumers will lose. Hopefully this and other similar nonsense will be resolved quickly.
  • Reply 13 of 104
    Apple still sells the 4s and all Wifi iPads via Online Store. It's only the iPhone 3GS & 4 + all 3G iPads, which they removed from the Online Store. But those devices can be purchased via any retailer or in stores, still. Further, with iPad 3 around, it's no risky game for Apple.



    But it's risky for MMI who'll have to compensate for all lost sales via the Apple Online Store if the patent can be invalidated successfully. This could reach a 10 digit high ? amount until early spring. By any means this would doom MMI. And yes, still there is a EC investigation threat to MMI for fighting over FRAND patents. Third is the EC commission investigating the Google/MMI merger.



    By fearing billion high penalties this could get expensive for Google.



    I think it's a combined strategy by Apple to drag Google out of the MMI merger and as well destroy MMI in just one punch.



    Remember, Apple initially requested MMI to deploy a 2B$ bond for the injunction, just for the German market ! Well, the judge said: 100M$ is enough, but MMI still has to pay if Apple can appeal it. This all is much too huge for MMI. If they loose they'll be finished, while for Apple it's just ...nothing.
  • Reply 14 of 104
    andysolandysol Posts: 2,506member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Never mind that these are FRAND patents and that Motorola will be investigated for them, leading to a potential payment by them to Apple for the lost revenue.



    This article is basically slapppy, DaHarder, Galbi, (and you know the other twenty)'s wet dream.



    Just so were clear...

    Apple wins suit against someone = good and fair

    Apple loses suit against someone = bad and unfair



    Pretty much accurate?
  • Reply 15 of 104
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by henniman View Post


    Apple still sells the 4s and all Wifi iPads via Online Store. It's only the iPhone 3GS & 4 + all 3G iPads, which they removed from the Online Store. But those devices can be purchased via any retailer or in stores, still. Further, with iPad 3 around, it's no risky game for Apple.



    But it's risky for MMI who'll have to compensate for all lost sales via the Apple Online Store if the patent can be invalidated successfully. This could reach a 10 digit high ? amount until early spring. By any means this would doom MMI. And yes, still there is a EC investigation threat to MMI for fighting over FRAND patents. Third is the EC commission investigating the Google/MMI merger.



    By fearing billion high penalties this could get expensive for Google.



    I think it's a combined strategy by Apple to drag Google out of the MMI merger and as well destroy MMI in just one punch.



    Remember, Apple initially requested MMI to deploy a 2B$ bond for the injunction, just for the German market ! Well, the judge said: 100M$ is enough, but MMI still has to pay if Apple can appeal it. This all is much too huge for MMI. If they loose they'll be finished, while for Apple it's just ...nothing.



    I agree that Apple has something up its sleeve. This action seems to be happening in a way that is much too casual. I think we'll only need about 3-4 months to see if this is actually a win for Motorola.
  • Reply 16 of 104
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Andysol View Post


    Just so were clear...

    Apple wins suit against someone = good and fair

    Apple loses suit against someone = bad and unfair



    Pretty much accurate?



    Yup... have you got a problem with that?!
  • Reply 17 of 104
    I've just checked the Apple Store for Germany and the iPhone 4S is available to buy.
  • Reply 18 of 104
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,215member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RichL View Post


    Cue responses from experts in German IP law...



    EDIT: Tallest Skill gets in there before I can post.



    What Tallest Skil posted actually comes from several articles. This is an essential patent the loss of which means you can't provide any 3g connections at all. There's no way around it. That makes it FRAND. So all Apple has to do is show that they played by the rules and Motorola didn't and the products will be back in the store and that bond will go to Apple. And the Motorola will likely end up slapped with the same anti trust investigation that Samsung is facing in the EU (also using FRAND applicable patents to block competition)
  • Reply 19 of 104
    With all these court cases Apple have been in, how many have they actually won? The answer is they have lost alot more than they have won! They secured an injunction against Samsung from selling their tablet, now Apple cannot sell their iPad's and most of their iPhones! Who is loosing now, Apple?



    Apple thought they were being smart going around dragging everyone to court, but it have blown back in their faces!!! Good enough for you Apple, you wanted to fight, but you are loosing hand over fist! If this was a football team, the fans would be calling for resignations!

    Whoever decided to go down this route wasn't the smartest one in the room at the time!
  • Reply 20 of 104
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,215member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ohcomeon View Post


    I've just checked the Apple Store for Germany and the iPhone 4S is available to buy.



    As I recall, this all started before the 4s was released and since it wasn't on the list of offending products its in the clear. for now. you can bet Motorola will try to get it pulled also
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