Apple has been forced to yank some of its hugely popular consumer devices from online shelves in Europe after failing to license internal wireless technology patented by fellow American handset maker Motorola.
The move comes after Motorola officially complained to the courts regarding Apple’s infringement and subsequently enforced an already granted patent injunction preventing online sale of certain iPhone and iPad models in Germany.
Apple devices affected by the injunction—and currently not available for sale—include the iPhone 3G, the iPhone 3GS, the iPhone 4, and all 3G-enabled models of the iPad tablet.
Apple has said these devices should still be on sale via resellers and its own official bricks-and-mortar Apple Store outlets.
The two technology titans initially locked horns in the legal system when Motorola accused Apple of not paying a Frand (fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory) fee to utilize patented technology found within the common GPRS data transmission standard.
Although Apple has since agreed to meet a specific licensing fee going forward, this week’s injunction has come about because the two parties have not been able to settle on a figure for retroactive payments.
In related news, Motorola has also secured a separate patent victory in Germany that could result in Apple customers in the region losing access to iCloud push email services.