Apple has been fighting a back-and-forth battle with Motorola in Germany over a 3G-related patent licensing for a while now. From an earlier injunction, Apple was banned from selling 3G-enabled devices, such as the iPad 2 WiFi + 3G and the iPhone 4.
A few weeks ago, the company pulled the devices in question from retailer shelves and a few hours later were awarded an injunction, allowing them to put them back on those same shelves. Today, it looks like Apple has received full protection from Germany’s high courts that bars Motorola from following up with its injunction until the appeal is over.
According to Foss Patents, the Karlsruhe Higher Regional Court handed down a decision that, “Motorola Mobility is barred from further enforcement of its standard-essential patent injunction against Apple in Germany at least from the duration of the ongoing appeal.”
The patents in question fall under fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory (FRAND) protection, which means that the intellectual property is considered essential to technology standards and Motorola must be willing to accept reasonable proposals to license its technology.
The appeals court held that Apple’s amended proposal for taking a license from Motorola followed appropriate FRAND terms that should be acceptable to the company and further attempts to ban Apple’s products would violate antitrust laws.
From Foss Patents:
“MMI [Motorola] is now in a tricky situation. The Karlsruhe Higher Regional Court has formally alerted it to the fact that its refusal to accept Apple’s offer — which from an antitrust point of view is now apparently too good to refuse — is a potential antitrust violation. By continuing not to accept Apple’s proposal, MMI risks consequences that could include fines from the European Commission.”
This ban does not have anything to do with Motorola’s other injunction against Apple, which has required the company to deactivate iCloud email push notification services in Germany.
[via Mac Rumors]