German judge upholds ban on Apple push email, Apple must pay damages to Motorola Mobility

Apple suffered a significant blow in the ongoing patent battles with Android competitors today when a Mannheim regional court in Germany ruled against an Apple appeal.

The court backed an earlier decision that banned Apple from offering the service for synchronizing emails on Apple’s mobile devices that use iCloud.

The court said Apple must pay damages to Motorola Mobility, but didn’t specify the amount.

The judge adjourned a decision on mobile communication standards, which Motorola Mobility regards as standard-essential. He didn’t say when the court will rule on this patent case.

Thermonuclear. Read more

Apple goes directly after Google, secures full disclosure of Motorola purchase and Android roadmap

Apple’s latest cunning move in its Holy Crusade against Android involves getting a court order to force Google, the maker of Android software, to produce documents detailing the Android roadmap and its proposed $12.5 billion acquisition of handset maker Motorola Mobility. It was not immediately clear what data Apple was exactly seeking to uncover. This is notable, because Apple is actually going after Google with this request. It is the first direct in the ongoing legal war considering Apple fought Google by proxy in the past.

According to Bloomberg, U.S. Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner ruled yesterday based on a patent lawsuit Apple filed in 2010 against Motorola that both Motorola and Google must spill relevant information to Apple, as “the Android/Motorola acquisition discovery is highly relevant to Apple’s claims and defenses.” Motorola, of course, opposed the request, offering the following argument.

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Apple disables iCloud and MobileMe push email in Germany due to patent fight with Motorola

Apple informed customers in Germany that push email on both MobileMe and iCloud services were disabled due to the company’s patent fight with handset maker Motorola Mobility. According to a support document Apple quietly published today, “Due to recent patent litigation by Motorola Mobility, iCloud and MobileMe users are currently unable to have iCloud and MobileMe email pushed to their iOS devices while located within the borders of Germany.”

Push still works for Contacts, Calendars and other items and it is unaffected on OS X. Moreover, the affected users can still access the iCloud/MobileMe email service by manually checking for messages or using the Fetch setting. Apple also wrote the following line in the support document:

Apple believes Motorola’s patent is invalid and is appealing the decision.

As you will recall, Motorola filed an iCloud-related lawsuit on April Fools’ Day. It recently won an injunction and provided a €100 million bond to enforce it. Apple detailed how the patent suit affects the iCloud/MobileMe email service:

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Did Motorola just win an injunction barring Apple from selling mobile products in Germany?

Florian Mueller isn’t a patent attorney but he plays one on his blog FOSSPatents.  For better or worse, he’s often quoted in the ongoing mobile technology patent battles where the winner is often Apple.  He’s also German so he probably understands this new, disturbing ruling a lot better than us (Our German is “rostig”)

Apple knows what it’s like to win injunctions against rivals. It won four of them against Samsung (two in Germany, one in the Netherlands and most recently one in Australia; all of them preliminary). Now it seems that Apple has just come out on the losing end of a patent infringement lawsuit. I have received a copy of what purports to be a default judgment by the Mannheim Regional Court barring Apple from selling in Germany — the single largest market in Europe – any mobile devices infringing on two Motorola Mobility patents and determining that Apple owes Motorola Mobility damages for past infringement since April 19, 2003.

If true, this would be a Hindenburg-sized backfire for Apple’s legal efforts in Europe.

The two patents and their US equivalents, Statements from Apple and Motorola and an update from Mueller below: Read more

Motorola outs the new RAZR, beats the iPhone 4S on thinness (except the part that doesn’t)


Motorola teaches us the difference between the 3.5-inch iPhone 4S and 4.3-inch RAZR.

Motorola has just unveiled the DROID RAZR and it looks like it beat the iPhone in the thinness department (except the upper part housing the camera that isn’t). Motorola’s device is, according to the blurb, “impossibly thin”, measuring just 7.1mm versus 9.3mm for the iPhone 4S. This 4G LTE handset driven by Android 2.3.5 features a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED display with an qHD resolution, a 1.2GHz dual-core processor with 1GB of RAM plus an eight-megapixel camera with 1080p video recording, 32 gigabytes of storage and Bluetooth 4.0.  It weights a slight 121 grams compared to the iPhone 4S’s 140 grams.

But 7.1mm thin?  Sure, except the part that is 10mm thin housing the camera.

They also have an optional lapdock that looks a lot like a MacBook Pro. The physical design boasts an interesting combination of Gorilla Glass and KEVLAR. Motorola is claiming up to 8.9 hours of video playback and 12.5 hours of talk time. The device is available for pre-order beginning October 27 on the Verizon Wireless network, starting at $299, with an expected launch sometime in November. Our own Seth Weintraub is live-blogging the announcement over at 9to5Google so feel free to hop over if you’re eager to find out more or check out the official RAZR mini-site. More juicy press shots, a nice teaser video and full press release after the break…


They also compare 4G LTE RAZR to 3G iPhone 4S. BTW Moto, thanks for free advertising!

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Apple and Intel among those entering the Nortel auction

Nortel decided to extend the deadline for the start of the auction for its patents until June 27 citing “significant interest” from third parties. Today we learn that two Silicon Valley giants are significantly interested in Nortel’s war chest of more than five thousand wireless patents said to be worth well over a billion dollars. They are Apple and Intel, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Other bidders include Ericsson AB and a company called RPX Corp which “defensively buys up patents on behalf of other companies to stop them from being used against them by investors”.
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