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2/24/2012
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Motorola 'Pushes' Apple To Turn Off iCloud Notifications

Court orders Apple to halt offering push notification services in Germany.

Smartphones: Never Too Thin Or Too Organic
Smartphones: Never Too Thin Or Too Organic
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Users of Apple's iCloud and MobileMe services in Germany will no longer receive push notifications on their iOS devices after Apple was forced to comply with an injunction barring it from offering such services.

The injunction was granted to Motorola Mobility by a court in Mannheim, Germany, three weeks ago. It covers Apple's use of patents pertaining to push notifications and applies to all devices that can access them.

According to FOSS Patents, Apple was not complying with the order and only did so Friday after Motorola demanded the court enforce the injunction.

With the injunction in place, iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad users in Germany won't be alerted to new emails and other actions automatically. Instead, Apple said on its German support site that users will have to set their phones to retrieve email automatically at select intervals.

Apple, Motorola, and other hardware vendors are engaged in a bitter set of lawsuits regarding smartphone patents in Germany and in other markets.

[ Read about Google's acquisition of Motorola Mobility. See Google Motorola Deal Approved. ]

Most recently, Apple filed a complaint with the European Commission alleging that Motorola is abusing "standard essential" patent licensing terms. Patents that are deemed essential for certain types of products (such as cell phones) must be licensed at a fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory rate, a practice known as FRAND.

Motorola is looking for upwards of $2.25 in licensing fees per iOS device sold. Apple believes these terms violate the FRAND principle and is asking the European Commission to investigate Motorola's licensing practices.

Microsoft joined Apple and made a similar request with the European Union this week. Microsoft also believes that Motorola is not offering fair licensing terms. It's worth noting that Microsoft itself licenses a number of smartphone-related patents to Android handset OEMs -- except for Motorola, which has refused to sign any agreements with Microsoft.

Separately, the EU has said it is going to investigate Samsung for similar FRAND patent licensing abuses. The EU charged that Samsung is using its standard essential patents to file litigation against competitors.

Regarding the current injunction, Apple said, "Apple believes this patent is invalid and is appealing the decision."

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