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Motorola patent being enforced against Apple's iCloud invalidated by UK judge

Google's Motorola on Friday lost its UK patent infringement case against Microsoft after a High Court judge invalidated a property currently being used as the basis of an injunction against Apple's iCloud in Germany.

The ruling from UK High Court Judge Richard Arnold found Motorola's patent for synchronizing messages across multiple mobile devices is invalid, reports Bloomberg (via FOSS Patents, allowing Apple a chance to possibly overturn an existing German injunction against iCloud push notifications the Google subsidiary won using the same intellectual property.

“The patent is invalid and should be revoked,” Judge Arnold said.

At issue was Motorola's European Patent No. EP0847654 for a "Multiple pager synchronization system and method," which calls for the automatic updating of message read status across a number of pagers associated with the same pager number. The property is the European equivalent of U.S. Patent No. 5,754,119 which carries the same name.

Motorola Pager Sync Patent

Source: Espacenet


In February, the IP was successfully leveraged against Apple's iCloud push notification system in Germany, resulting in a service shutdown that remains active today. Apple's motion to stay the ban was rebuffed in March by the Karlsruhe Court of Appeals. While both methods synchronize digital content on a pluarlity of mobile devices, Motorola's patent targets pager technology from the 1990s while Apple's service includes email, texts, and other communications protocols that have gained popularity in the intervening years.

According to the judgment, if Motorola's patent had been upheld, Microsoft's Live Messenger instant messaging and Exchange email services would be in violation of the IP, suggesting those assets could have seen a shutdown similar to the one imposed on Apple.

Friday's decision comes ahead of another Motorola v. Microsoft trial scheduled to take place in Germany's Mannheim Regional Court in February. Apple also has two upcoming court dates with Motorola at which the invalidation will likely be leveraged to lift the current iCloud injunction.