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Apple to resume full online sales in Germany

A customer visits the Apple Store in New York City's Grand Central Station
A customer visits the Apple Store in New York City's Grand Central Station

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Apple Inc said it was cleared to resume selling older models of its iPhone and 3G-based iPads via its German online store on Friday, after the suspension of an injunction won by Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc in December.

"All iPad and iPhone models will be back on sale through Apple's online store in Germany shortly," Apple spokesman Alan Hely said, adding that Apple was granted a suspension of the injunction.

He declined to say when exactly the sales would resume.

Motorola was not immediately available for comment.

A regional German court in Mannheim ruled on December 9 that Apple Sales International -- the European sales subsidiary of Apple in Cork, Ireland -- must stop selling or distributing mobile devices that infringe certain Motorola cellular communications patents.

That forced Apple to stop briefly the sale of iPhone 3G and 4 models and 3G/UMTS-based iPads on its German online store on Friday.

Motorola Mobility has said it had been negotiating with Apple and offering the company "reasonable licensing terms and conditions since 2007."

Apple spokesman Hely said on Friday: "Motorola repeatedly refuses to license this patent to Apple on reasonable terms, despite having declared it an industry standard patent seven years ago."

Apple retail stores and authorized resellers had not stopped selling the devices, he said.

On Apple's German http://store.apple.com/de site, attempts to order iPhone 3G and 4 models and 3G/UMTS-based iPads on Friday produced a "currently not available" message. The latest iPhone version 4S and WIFI-only iPads, however, were available online.

Apple is locked in mobile patent infringement battles with a number of companies, including Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and HTC Corp, in several countries. It recently failed in a court bid to stop U.S. sales of Samsung's Galaxy line of products.

($1 = 0.7592 euros)

(Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Andrew Callus and Jane Merriman)

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