It's all down to one of Motorola's patents covering wireless communications, which Apple is using but has not licensed from the phone company.
The patent in question is over a "method for performing a countdown function during a mobile-originated transfer for a packet radio system".
That old chestnut
And it's not the end of the world for anyone in Germany who had just saved up enough to treat themselves to a shiny new toy – Apple's high street shops and other retailers will still be selling the devices.
Apple has already said that it will be appealing the ruling, claiming that "Motorola repeatedly refuses to license this patent to Apple on reasonable terms, despite having declared it an industry standard patent seven years ago."
Motorola disagrees though, saying that it has offered reasonable terms since 2007.
In a separate case, Motorola has also won a permanent injunction against the push email feature of iCloud which may mean that users of the service in Germany will have to manually check for email instead of automatically receiving new messages when they are sent.
Apple is planning to appeal the iCloud decision too, claiming that the patent in question is not actually valid.
It's little wonder that things are hotting up between Apple and Motorola, given that Google is in the process of acquiring the latter. Just another little battle in the great Android versus iOS war.
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