Motorola phone ban hits Europe – is your country affected?

Lenovo and Motorola are reportedly banned from selling phones in a major European country

Motorola phone ban
(Image credit: Motorola)
Quick Summary

Motorola and parent company Lenovo have been banned from selling mobile devices in Germany.

German courts have imposed the sales ban after the firms were found to have infringed a communications patent.

Motorola is reportedly having to withdraw its phones from sale in a major European country, after a court order was served on the company and its parent Lenovo.

The ban affects all Motorola phones that contain WWAN or Wireless Wide Area Network modules, as the technology used has been found to have unlawfully infringed a patent filed by US firm InterDigital.

The ban is currently country-wide in Germany, with even the company's German website removing all products bar earbuds and chargers.

That includes one of the best foldable phones around, the Motorola Razr 40 Ultra and, as Android Authority reports, the Motorola Edge 50 lineup launched just last month.

The ban also affect Lenovo laptops that use the same communications technology. Affected devices are only therefore being sold "while stocks last".

Lenovo told T3 in a statement that it does not agree with the ruling and intends to appeal: "We respect the Munich court’s decision but do not agree with it given our belief that [InterDigital] IDC has violated its own legal obligations to license its technology on Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) terms to either Lenovo or our third-party suppliers.

"Innovation must be both accessible and affordable, and IDC’s unreasonable global patent licensing behaviours and fees disadvantage German customers, especially consumers by reducing access to the latest technologies and driving up prices for tech products. We look forward to the next stage of the proceedings and our appeal."

It is not yet known if other countries will see handsets taken off shelves too, as the ban is limited to Germany at present.

Motorola and its parent firm are not the first to have been accused of patent infringement in recent times, Oppo and OnePlus phones were withdrawn from several EU member states a couple of years ago after a court battle with Nokia.

They have since agreed a deal with the Finnish tech giant and their devices are therefore back on shelves across the continent.

The latest ruling could affect Motorola greatly in the coming month though, as the brand prepares to launch its latest flip phone – the Motorola Razr 50 Ultra.

That handset is said to be coming in the next week or so, after being spotted on yet another certification website. Just not to Germany, at present.

Rik Henderson
News Editor

Rik is T3’s news editor, which means he looks after the news team and the up-to-the-minute coverage of all the hottest gadgets and products you’ll definitely want to read about. And, with more than 35 years of experience in tech and entertainment journalism, including editing and writing for numerous websites, magazines, and newspapers, he’s always got an eye on the next big thing.

Rik also has extensive knowledge of AV, TV streaming and smart home kit, plus just about everything to do with games since the late 80s. Prior to T3, he spent 13 years at Pocket-lint heading up its news team, and was a TV producer and presenter on such shows as Channel 4's GamesMaster, plus Sky's Games World, Game Over, and Virtual World of Sport.