Asustek Computer Inc (華碩) yesterday said it ceased online sales of certain smartphones and tablets in Germany two weeks ago due to a patent infringement issue.
“We have not shipped ZenFones and ZenPads in the German market in the past few weeks because of a software patent issue,” company spokesman Nick Wu (吳長榮) said by telephone.
Wu declined to elaborate on the patent infringement issue, but said the incident only affects the sales of ZenFones and ZenPads on the company’s online store serving Germany.
Sales of notebook computers and smartwatches are unaffected, he added.
Wu said the affected products will be patched soon and would be available on the company’s online store again next month.
“The incident is limited to Asustek, as we only halted shipping for two weeks and retailers in Germany have not stopped selling smartphones and tablets,” he said.
ZenFones and ZenPads featured on the company’s German online store are marked with a message saying: “running Android 5.0 or higher are currently not available for purchase.”
German news Web site Heise Online on Sunday reported that Dutch company Philips N.V. had enforced a judgement by a Mannheim court to prohibit Asustek from selling its smartphones and tablets due to a user interface software patent infringement.
However, the software is within Google’s Android operating system and affects not only Asustek, but also other Android manufacturers, the report said.
It said that Google has developed a software patch that amends the questionable function and any devices installed with the revised software can be sold.
ZenFones and ZenPads that had been delivered before the enforcement of the ruling may continue to be sold by retailers in Germany, the report said, citing the ruling.
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