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Apple forced to remove 3G iPad 2, iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 from German online store (update)

Apple forced to remove 3G iPad 2, iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 from German online store (update)


Apple has been forced to removed all 3G iPads, the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 handsets from its online German store due to a dispute with Motorola Mobility.

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Apple has been forced to remove its 3G iPad 2, iPhone 3GS, and iPhone 4 devices from the online German Apple store today, following a dispute with Motorola Mobility. FOSS Patents reports that the decision is likely due to a ruling from December, and not related to an iCloud injunction issued against Apple Sales International today. Motorola appears to have posted a €100m ($133m) bond to enforce the ruling.

The dispute centers on a patent held by Motorola essential to the GPRS standard, and appears it is strictly about the license terms and money Motorola wanted for its patents, not any cross-licensing of Apple's iOS patents. The iPhone 4S is unaffected as it contains a baseband chip from Qualcomm, unlike earlier models that use Infineon chipsets. Apple uses an Infineon chip for its GSM iPad 2, leaving it affected by today's removals.

All models are still available in German retail Apple stores and authorized dealers, and Apple rejects the injunction on the grounds that Motorola refused to license the patent at issue on a fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) basis. Samsung has also attempted to enforce a number of essential 3G patents against Apple recently, and tjhjklhlkhklhe European Commission revealed this week that it will formally investigate whether Samsung has broken EU antitrust rules by refusing to license its patents on a FRAND basis.

Update: It appears that Apple has successfully convinced a court in Germany to suspend enforcement of this injunction, according to AllThingsD. It's unclear at this time exactly why this suspension was awarded, but it's most likely being provided so that Apple can appeal the issue to a higher court. We've reached out to Apple for additional information and will update you on details as they come in.