updated 11:15 am EST, Fri February 3, 2012
Apple cleared to sell 3G devices in Germany again
Motorola's German ban against Apple was short-lived Friday after the court suspended the ban following an appeal. Apple in a statement hours later told SlashGear that it would have iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, and 3G iPads back on Germany's online Apple Store soon. The iOS device builder reiterated the point of view behind the appeal, which contended that Motorola was violating policies around licensing patents on FRAND (fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory) terms.
"Apple appealed this ruling because Motorola repeatedly refuses to license this patent to Apple on reasonable terms, despite having declared it an industry standard patent seven years ago," it said.
iCloud is still affected, but Motorola would need to spend 100 million euros ($131.2 million) in a bond to actively enforce the ban. Unlike in the US, patent-related product bans require that the patent holder help police its own conditions.
The affected iPad and iPhone models still face the risk of a preliminary, pre-trial ban if the appeal is rejected. iPhone 4S sales will continue, since Apple is using a Qualcomm chipset that wouldn't be affected by the same 3G patents Motorola is wielding in court. Apple has successfully fended off multiple ban attempts on the iPhone 4S so far by Samsung, both through the FRAND defense and for claims that Samsung was violating the concept of patent exhaustion, where it can't charge both Qualcomm and Apple when the latter is only using Qualcomm's chipset.
It's not known if Apple can make a similar exhaustion claim with Motorola.