German appeals court Karlsruhe Higher Regional Court yesterday announced [Google translation] its decision to stay an appeal in Apple v. Google's Motorola Mobility case over a push notification patent.
Back in February 2012, Apple suspended iCloud/MobileMe push functionality in Germany due to successful patent litigation from Motorola Mobility for a push notification patent. FOSS Patents reports that the patent is likely invalid.
On Friday the Mannheim Regional Court (whose rulings can be appealed to the Karlsruhe Higher Regional Court) announced its finding that Microsoft, which also faces an assertion of this patent, is licensed, ruling out injunctive relief and staying the damages-related part of the case over doubts concerning the validity of the patent.
Motorola's patent for push notifications falls under an ActiveSync licensing agreement with Microsoft, which essentially allows both Microsoft and Apple to challenge the validity of the patent.
FOSS Patents also notes that this development opens the door for iCloud push functionality to return for German users.
By now the appeals court has fully evaluated Apple's invalidity contentions, and on this basis I believe a renewed motion on Apple's part to seek a stay of Google's enforcement of what appears to be a highly dubious patent will succeed shortly, giving German iCloud users their push notifications of new email messages back.
The German push notification case is just one part of a legal battle between Apple and Google's Motorola Mobility. Earlier this week, the International Trade Commission invalidated a Motorola sensor patent that threatened imports of iPhone 4 into the U.S.
And earlier this month, U.S. District Court Judge Robert Scola criticized Apple and Google for their patent disagreements and gave them four months to streamline that case.