Friday, March 16, 2012, 02:42 pm PT (05:42 pm ET)
Motorola injunction against Apple push services upheld in GermanyGerman iOS device owners will be without push notifications for an extended period of time as a German court denied Apple's appeal to halt a Motorola ban on the service used by iCloud and MobileMe.
A spokeswoman for the Karlsruhe Higher Regional Court, which handles appeals for the circuit within which the Mannheim Regional Court belongs, confirmed on Friday that an Apples attempt to suspend the injunction imposed by Motorola had been denied on Wednesday, reports FOSS Patents' Florian Mueller.
"We are pleased with [Wednesday's] ruling in Germany denying Apple's motion to stay the injunction related to our push email patent. We will continue to protect our intellectual property," Motorola said in a statement.
Apple's German push notification stoppage was the direct result of a Motorola court case regarding data pushing technology, and was first revealed in a support document posted to the company's website. The telecommunications giant won the injunction in early February, though chose not to leverage the ruling until later that month presumably due to deliberation over whether to post the 100 million euro bond required to enforce the ban.
Motorola first filed the patent complaint at the Mannheim Regional Court in April, 2011, and Judge Andreas Voss subsequently handed down the "preliminarily enforceable" ruling in favor of the RAZR maker.
Push technology allows users to receive email and notifications instantly without having to "pull" the data from a server. The system was popularized by Research in Motion's BlackBerry platform, with Apple adding the service to MobileMe and subsequently iCloud.
Wednesday's decision to uphold the injunction means that German iCloud or MobileMe users could be without push notifications for a year or more as the issue moves through the appeals process. iOS devices are only affected within the confines of Germany, and regain push functionality once outside the country's borders.
Certain workarounds like timed retrieval of messages can serve as a stop-gap until Apple either wins an appeal or comes to an agreement with Motorola.
Apple has the option to appeal again, though it is likely that the company has presented all arguments and will have to wait and see if other ongoing cases against Motorola bring new cause for a reexamination of the case. As the two companies continue their German patent battle, it is unclear what effect the appeal denial will have on future proceedings regarding certain FRAND patents that apply to wireless technology.
Apple recently won two key injunctions against Motorola, one regarding a photo gallery patent and another over a handset's slide-to-unlock mechanism.
With Google's takeover of Motorola Mobility looming, Germany has become an important battleground for the overarching iOS versus Android patent war.
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