Patent fight hits Apple in Germany

Feb. 24, 2012 at 5:11 PM
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MANHEIM, Germany, Feb. 24 (UPI) -- Motorola is enforcing an injunction against Apple's iCloud push e-mail notifications in Germany that has shut down the service for regional users, analysts say.

Push e-mail describes e-mail systems in which new messages are actively transferred or "pushed" by the mail server, as they arrive, to the mail user.

On its German support forums, Apple confirmed push e-mail for iCloud was not working within the borders of Germany because of a patent battle with Motorola but posted a workaround to have new e-mails automatically download in the background, PC Magazine reported Friday.

"Apple holds the [Motorola] patent to be invalid and [plans] to submit an appeal," a forum posting said.

Patent blogger Florian Mueller said, "This is the first time that Apple's customers (in one particular country) start to see and feel the effects of the ongoing patent disputes in the smartphone and tablet computer industry in the form of a (temporary) removal of certain functionality."

Mueller said he believes Motorola is justified in pursuing the injunction.

"This is fair. Like I said, it's the first time that Apple's customers experience a certain kind of technical restriction, but as a result of Apple's own enforcement of patents, Android users see this happen all the time, with features either being removed or hobbled."

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