Apple has been forced to suspend push services on its iCloud platform in Germany after Motorola Mobility successfully brought an injunction against the technology following recent patent lawsuits between the two companies.
The Cupertino-based technology giant has created a Support page on the subject stating that, as a result of a recent patent lawsuit from Motorola Mobility, users of its iCloud and MobileMe services will not receive push emails from Apple whilst they are “within the borders of Germany.”
Affected customers will still receive iCloud and MobileMe email, but new messages will be downloaded to their devices when the Mail app is opened, or when their device periodically fetches new messages as configured in iOS Settings. Push email service on desktop computers, laptop computers, and the web is unaffected, as is service from other providers such as Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync.
Push services automatically deliver new email to iOS devices without user interaction, doing away with traditional ‘Pull’ services that would poll email servers at specified intervals to download new mail messages.
The company says that it has appealed the decision, which was recently passed in a court case in Mannheim, adding that it holds the patent “to be invalid”.
Earlier this month, Apple removed purchasing options for its iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and 3G iPad products from its website in Germany after Motorola secured an injunction against Apple’s 3G-capable devices at a Mannheim court.
Motorola successfully won a ruling against Apple, which infringed on FRAND-pledged patents that were essential to its 3G/UMTS products on its German online Apple Store. As a result, the iPhone 4S remained the only 3G-capable device available to purchase on its website. The products game back to the store later that day after Apple reversed the injunction.
Whilst services have been disabled, Apple provides workarounds to enable background syncing of email on iOS devices, with traditional email clients and websites remaining unaffected as they don’t utilise Push protocols.