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Apple could see iPhone 4S, iPad 2 banned in Germany

Apple could face a ban on the sales of the iPhone 4S, iPad 2 and other devices in Germany after the company failed to show up in court to answer a dispute with rival Motorola over alleged patent infringement.

The reasons behind Apple's no-show at the court are still unknown - but because the company's representatives didn't appear, the district court in Mannheim passed a default judgement favouring Motorola.

The court order - which is directed against Apple, Inc., rather than its German subsidiary, Apple GmbH - doesn't specifically mention any particular Apple handsets or tablet devices, but says that Apple will not be able to offer for sale any products that infringe two of Motorola's wireless technology-related patents.

It is unclear as yet whether an order against Apple's American parent company could see a directly enforceable ban in Germany - though the company could see the case rolled together with another, separate action against Apple GmbH. In the case of a ban being implemented, Apple could face a fine of €250,000 if it fails to honour the ruling, reports Computer World UK.

Apple appears unworried by the decision, telling Cnet: "This is a procedural issue and has nothing to do with the merits of the case. It does not affect our ability to sell products or do business in Germany at this time".

Apple has so far issued no official comment on the case. monitors all leading technology stories and rounds them up to help you save time hunting them down.