Motorola forces Apple to halt iCloud push services in Germany

Apple logoApple announced on Friday that it had shut down iCloud push services in Germany, explaining that the move was the direct result of a successful Motorola bid for an injunction against the cloud syncing service over data pushing technology.

The Cupertino, Calif., company posted the news (machine translation) in the support section of its German website, and gave a brief summary of the injunction as well as suggestions for temporary solutions that iCloud users can follow while the company appeals the decision, reports German language site

Apple lists the service outage as a "Symptom" (machine translation) on its support document page in an apparent attempt to direct affected iCloud users to the article if they query the site about the push email stoppage.

Besides push mail, the halting of Apple's push services will stop the syncing of calendars and contacts for MobileMe until users change certain device settings. iCloud users will not be affected.

A rough translation of the summary describes the recent court case in which Motorola Mobility successfully leveraged a data pushing technology patent against Apple in Mannheim.

The document notes that while iCloud and existing MobileMe users within the borders of Germany can't receive push email at this time, all received messages can still be accessed through either the iCloud website or by reconfiguring an iOS device's settings. All non-mobile products, such as iMacs and MacBook Pros, are not affected as they do not use wireless data pushing services.

Once a user is outside of Germany, they must manually reactivate push mail in the device settings of their iOS device.

Motorola first filed the complaint at the Mannheim Regional Court in April, 2011, an claimed that Apple's push mail service infringed on an existing patent. Judge Andreas Voss handed down the decision in early February, giving Motorola the ability to enforce an injunction against any Apple product that serves as a data pushing system.

Because the ruling was "preliminarily enforceable," it can be inferred that Motorola posted the required 100 million euro bond to enforce the injunction. If Apple's expected appeal at the Karlsruhe Higher Regional Court finds that the original ruling was incorrect, the RAZR maker will be forced to pay damages in a subsequent hearing.

Push email allows users to receive new mail almost instantly by "pushing" new data to a user's device as soon as it is received at the server. The system is the successor of previous so-called "pull" mail services that require an email client to check the server for new messages as set intervals.

Apple's solution to the push service stoppage is as follows (translated from German support site):

For iCloud Mail:

  1. On the Home screen, go to "Settings" > "Mail, Contacts, Calendars."
  2. Tap "Fetch New Data."
  3. Select a scheduled time to fetch new data.
  4. The "Push" setting must be turned on in order to ensure the continued push for contacts and calendar service.

MobileMe Mail:

  1. On the Home screen, go to "Settings" > "Mail, Contacts, Calendars."
  2. Tap "Fetch New Data".
  3. Select a scheduled time to fetch new data.
  4. Tap "Advanced."
  5. Select a MobileMe account from the accounts list.
  6. Tap "Fetch" under "Select Schedule."
  7. Tap "Advanced" to return to the previous screen.
  8. Repeat steps 5-7 for other MobileMe accounts on your device.
Source: AppleInsider

Tags: Apple, legal action, Motorola

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