Motorola's push mail patent ruled partly invalid in Germany

The case can be appealed at the Federal Court of Justice

The German Federal Patent Court has branded as partly invalid a Motorola message synchronization patent that was used to force Apple to switch off iOS push email services in Germany for more than a year.

The decision, issued Wednesday, follows two related complaints filed by Apple's and Microsoft's German subsidiaries challenging the European patent from Google-owned Motorola Mobility, according to the court.

Apple had to switch off push mail services for iOS devices in Germany after Motorola decided to enforce an injunction granted by the Regional Court of Mannheim in February 2012. That decision was overturned by Mannheim's appeals court, the Higher Regional Court of Karlsruhe in August, which lifted the injunction via an interim decision.

Because that decision was not final, Apple had to post a bond of €100 million ($134 million) to lift it and switch on push email for Germans again. Push email has been available for iOS devices in Germany again since Oct. 1.

However, the Higher Regional Court of Karlsruhe still has to reach a final decision in this case.

But, because the patent was only partially invalidated, part of it still stands, the Federal Patent Court said. The court did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In a similar case, Motorola also alleged that several Windows Phone devices in Germany infringed on this patent. The Regional Court of Mannheim in April decided to postpone a decision in the case pending a patent validity procedure at the Federal Patent Court.

The parties involved can appeal the case with the German Federal Court of Justice. However, that appeals court will only review the legal assessment of a case by the lower courts to determine if any of their findings are affected by a procedural error.

Apple and Motorola did not reply to a request for comment. Microsoft declined to comment.

A U.K. court last December ruled the same patent invalid in a lawsuit between Motorola and Microsoft because it lacked novelty, the court said at the time.

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 legalintellectual propertypatentMotorola Mobility

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?