Ban on iOS push mail stays but patent used to get it likely to be invalid, German court says

But Apple can always file a request with the court to lift the ban, a court spokeswoman said

A patent that Motorola Mobility used to force Apple to turn off its iCloud push mail service in Germany is likely to be invalid, the Higher Regional Court in Karlsruhe said on Wednesday -- but the ban will not be lifted, a court spokeswoman said.

Apple was ordered to stop offering push mail services in Germany in February last year after the District Court in Mannheim found that Apple infringed on a Motorola patent entitled "Multiple Pager Status Synchronization System and Method," also known as the push notification patent.

Apple took the case to Mannheim's appellate court in Karlsruhe, where the court decided to postpone its decision until the German Federal Patent Court has ruled on the patent's validity, Christiane Oehler, spokeswoman for the Karlsruhe appeals court said.

Similar doubts were raised about the same patent by the Mannheim court last Friday in a case between Motorola and Microsoft. That court too decided to wait for the outcome of the pending validity procedure because the patent was likely to be invalid. Neither of the German courts however disclosed why it thought the patent was invalid.

The push notification patent had already been ruled invalid by a U.K. court in December in a lawsuit between Motorola and Microsoft because it lacks novelty and is obvious, the court said at the time. While German and U.K. courts are independent, it is not unusual for them to take note of each other's rulings over the same matter.

While two German courts now doubt the validity of the patent, the ban on iOS push mail services via iCloud and its predecessor MobileMe won't be lifted, Oehler said. "The current decision to suspend the ruling does not change anything about the ban, at least not automatically," she said.

Apple already tried to lift the ban during the pending appeal procedure but that request was denied by the Karlsruhe court in March last year, Oehler said. Apple hasn't tried to lift the ban since then, but the company can always file a new request with the Karlsruhe court in an attempt to lift it, she added.

Whether Apple will attempt to do that remains unclear. "We aren't commenting on today's announcement," Apple spokesman Alan Hely said in an email. Motorola did not respond to a request for comment.

Loek is Amsterdam Correspondent and covers online privacy, intellectual property, open-source and online payment issues for the IDG News Service. Follow him on Twitter at @loekessers or email tips and comments to loek_essers@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags mobileMotorolaGoogleApplelegaliosapplicationstelecommunicationintellectual propertypatentMobile OSes

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Loek Essers

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?