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Apple loses iCloud patent battle

Latest ruling means Apple will not be able to send push emails to iCloud and MobileMe users in Germany.

Motorola has won another stage in its battle with Apple over patents. The latest ruling means Apple will not be able to send push emails to iCloud and MobileMe users in Germany.

The latest decision backs the decision of the German court back in February, which upheld a ban imposed on push notifications used by iOS devices in Germany. Apple made a bit to restore push email services, but this bid has now failed. As a result, the Mannheim regional court will force Apple to pay damages to Motorola Mobility, according to Dow Jones. It is not yet known how much it will cost the company. Apple plans to appeal the ruling, according to the Wall Street Journal. (More below)

The case is made all the more frustrating for Apple because arch-enemy Google is hoping to acquire Motorola. Google wants to expand its business into more hardware ventures, with the plan to purchase mobile-phone, set-top box and tablet maker Motorola Mobility for about $12.5 billion. The purchase would also help Google defend itself against various patent infringement lawsuits over the Android mobile operating system, since Motorola has one of the smartphone industry's largest patent libraries.

Back in February, Apple created a support page for customers that explains that German users would not have iCloud and MobileMe email pushed to their iOS devices while located within Germany. However, it points out that they "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, " it adds.

The lawsuit relates to European Patent 0847654 (B1), entitled "Multiple Pager Status Synchronization System and Method." The equivalent in the United States is U.S. Patent No. 5,754,119, according to Apple Insider.

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