Apple just scored its first major black eye. A German court just ruled in favor of Motorola concerning a patent dispute, promptly forcing Apple to remove the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and 3G iPads from its online store in the country. Uh-oh?
According to Bloomberg Businessweek, the patent at fault here is an old Motorola "pager patent" that is used to synchronize data — specifically email accounts.
The German court ruled that Apple's iCloud infringes on Motorola's patent and that the company failed to "convince the court that it isn't infringing."
As for why the iPhone 4S, iPhone 4 (CDMA) and iPad 2 are still available on its online store, 9to5Mac suggests it might have to do with the different chipsets those devices use.
Naturally, Apple is appealing the ruling and says that Motorola "refuses to license the patent to Apple on reasonable terms, despite having declared it an industry standard patent seven years ago."
In the meantime, the company reminds customers that all iPhone and iPad models are still available in brick and mortar stores. The block only affects its online store in Germany.
Talk about Apple getting a taste of its own medicine.