Court grants Apple protection from 3G device ban in Germany

According to FOSS Patents, a German court has ruled in favor of Apple that Motorola Mobility cannot enforce a temporary injunction against the iPhone maker that was initially granted last year. The injunction banned all of Apple’s 3G-enabled products from being sold in Germany, and at a point earlier this month, Apple actually removed those products from its German online store (only to add them back hours later).

The court says that, as long as Apple has an appeal filed, the injunction cannot be enforced. Considering that the lawsuit could take upwards of a year, this means that Apple has at least temporary protection from a device ban in the country.

The Karlsruhe Higher Regional Court (“Oberlandesgericht Karlsruhe”), the appeals court within whose circuit the Mannheim Regional Court is based, decided today that Motorola Mobility is barred from further enforcement of its standard-essential patent injunction against Apple in Germany at least for the duration of the ongoing appeal (which I believe will take a year, if not more). And while today’s decision is only a summary and preliminary decision that MMI could overturn during the course of the full-blown appellate proceedings, this indicates thatApple’s appeal is highly likely to succeed — and even if it didn’t, Apple could realistically resolve the problem with limited additional concessions.

Just last week, Apple was forced to turn off all push email services for iCloud and MobileMe users in Germany following a court ruling in favor of Motorola Mobility in a separate suit.