Mobile

Patent problems force Motorola to yank tablets, smartphones from German store

Motorola’s ongoing patent litigation in Germany is taking some more damage.

Motorola has yanked some of the products from its online store in Germany. Many of its smartphones and all of its tablets are gone from the site, German news site Areamobile reports. All that remains are three devices: the Motorola Razr i, the Motorola Razr HD, and the Motorola Gleam+.

Motorola told Areamobile that the missing devices were being “reworked,” but there’s no word on when they will return.

Motorola’s North American arm, however, has a different story: It’s simply phasing out its devices.

“As we have previously stated, Motorola Mobility is focusing on fewer mobile devices. As a result we have phased out some of our lower tier devices in Europe/Germany,” a company spokesperson told VentureBeat.

While that explanation’s at least partially valid, it’s hard to imagine that Motorola would phase out all of its tablets. Clearly, there’s something else amiss here.

The irony of the situation cannot be overstated. When Google bought Motorola last year for $12.5 billion, it did so with the assumption that Motorola’s patent trove would be able to protect the search giant from patent litigation. But it seems the company can’t even protect itself.

Motorola has been on the losing end of quite a few patent cases with companies like Microsoft and Apple in recent months, and it’s lost the majority of them. The company, however, did win a case last week, which shows that it has some momentum on its end as well.

Photo: Ricardo Bilton/VentureBeat


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