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Apple faces iPhone and iPad ban in Germany

Apple's iPhones and iPads could be banned in Germany

Apple faces the prospect of having its iPad and iPhone devices banned in Germany, just months after securing a ban on Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the country with a similar ruling.

Motorola Mobility, which is the subject of a prospective takeover by Google, won a ruling in a German court against Apple’s European sales company, Ireland-based Apple Sales International, based on a patent relating to a “method for performing a countdown function during a mobile-originated transfer for a packet radio system”.

The Court has granted Motorola Mobility’s requests for an injunction and damages, the company said. The news will come as validation for Google, which is pursuing the business primarily for its patent portfolio.

“We will continue to take all necessary steps to protect our intellectual property, as our patent portfolio and licensing agreements with companies both in the U.S. and around the world are critical to our business,” said Scott Offer, senior vice president and general counsel of Motorola Mobility.

“We have been negotiating with Apple and offering them reasonable licensing terms and conditions since 2007, and will continue our efforts to resolve our global patent dispute as soon as practicable.”

Unsurprisingly, Apple announced plans to appeal the decision.”We’re going to appeal the court’s ruling right away,” read a statement from the firm emailed to Dow Jones Newswire. “Holiday shoppers in Germany should have no problem finding the iPad or iPhone they want.”

The move is the latest twist in an ongoing patent saga between Apple and Google’s Android hardware partners.

Apple recently failed to secure a ban on Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia, after an Australian High Court rejected an appeal to keep the device off shelves. It was also denied a preliminary injunction to block the sale of Samsung’s touchscreen smartphones and tablets in the US, while Samsung too lost out in its attempts to ban sales of Apple’s iPhone 4S device in France. – telecoms industry news, analysis and opinion

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