Apple temporarily blocks German iPhone ban

February 3, 2012

Apple’s iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS are back on digital shelves on its German Web site, the latest turn in the company’s patent tussle with Motorola. That dispute had led the Cupertino, Calif.-based company to temporarily remove its older iPhones and iPads from the company’s Web site.

Now, according to a statement from Apple, the company is putting the items back on sale.

“All iPad and iPhone models will be back on sale through Apple’s online store in Germany shortly,” an Apple spokeswoman told the Associated Press. “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.”

Apple had briefly removed the gadgets from its online store in Germany after Motorola enforced a ruling it was granted last December that banned imports of iPhones and 3G-capable iPads into the country.

According to patent analyst and blogger Florian Mueller, the ban reprieve could possibly only last for a few days or a few weeks, but is a win for Apple and its lawyers.

“It means that at least in the very near term, Motorola does not manage to have the disruptive impact on Apple's business that the immediate enforcement of the injunction would have had,” Mueller wrote.

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Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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