German Court Dismisses Qualcomm’s Patent Lawsuit Against Apple

Qualcomm has been on a roll when it comes to winning court cases against Apple of late, but it’s suffered a loss in Germany after a court dismissed what one patent expert called a “nuisance suit” against Apple.

According to Reuters, the case was dismissed after it was deemed that Apple did not violate the patents.

A patent lawsuit filed by Qualcomm Inc against Apple Inc was thrown out by a German court on Tuesday […]

The regional court in the city of Mannheim dismissed the Qualcomm suit as groundless in an initial verbal decision, saying the patent in question was not violated by the installation of its chips in Apple’s smartphones.

The patent in question this time around related to “a switch with improved biasing,” according to Foss Patents’ Florian Muller.

The patent-in-suit is EP2460270 on a “switch with improved biasing” (“biasing” in this context basically meaning that one voltage gets to control another).

I’m not going to stay up, or get up at midnight, for a nuisance lawsuit (which is all that this one is in practical terms).

Muller not only says that this was a nuisance patent, but also that the previous Qualcomm victory has little use, at least in practical terms.

The Munich decision affects only 3% of Apple’s German sales of the iPhone 7 and of the iPhone 8: direct sales to end users through its 15 retail stores and its German online store. Even those 3% of the sales of the two oldest iPhone generations on sale in a market that generally isn’t huge for Apple (significant, but far from substantial) aren’t really lost because some will buy other iPhone models instead and others will simply buy those iPhone models from resellers.

Anyone can see on the Internet that the “enjoined” iPhone models are still widely available in Germany.

Apple is appealing that decision regardless, and it’s becoming increasingly clear that the spat between Apple and Qualcomm isn’t going to come to an end any time soon, no matter how this latest legal issue turned out.

(Sources: Reuters, FOSS Patents)

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