German court upholds ban on Apple “push” e-mail

A German court on Friday upheld a ban on “push” emails in Apple’s iCloud and MobileMe services in Germany, ruling in favor of rival Motorola Mobility.

The regional court in the city of Mannheim confirmed an earlier ruling that Apple owes Motorola for using a patented technology that automatically informs Apple customers about their new messages on iPhones, iPods or iPads.

A court spokesman said Apple still had to refrain from offering the “push” features in Germany, that it was liable for damages and was ordered to provide information to calculate the amount of damages.

Apple and Motorola – which Google Inc is in the process of acquiring – are engaged in global patent litigation, part of a broader legal fight over the smartphone market, with billions of dollars at stake.

Apple is also embroiled in intellectual property battles, with other mobile handset makers, primarily Samsung Electronics, with many cases filed in Europe’s largest market Germany.

An Apple spokeswoman in Britain said the company disagreed with the German court and would appeal.

Officials at Motorola were not immediately available for comment.

Apple has previously told users on its website they could get around the suspension of push services by adjusting their settings so that devices download new email at regular intervals.

(Reporting By Nicola Leske; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick)

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German court upholds ban on Apple “push” e-mail