German court rejects Qualcomm’s patent case against Apple

Qualcomm CES 2016 booth. Credit: Flickr

A regional court in Mannheim, Germany on Tuesday dismissed a case filed by Qualcomm alleging Apple of infringing its patent. The patent is related to transistor switch. The ruling concerned difference in interpretations of the patent in question between both the companies.

The court disagreed with Qualcomm in an initial discussion. The court said the Apple’s smartphones do not infringe upon the Qualcomm’s patent in question. Qualcomm said it would appeal.

Apple, in its statement said, “We are happy with the decision and thank the court for their time and diligence. We regret Qualcomm’s use of the court to divert attention from their illegal behaviour that is the subject of multiple lawsuits and proceedings around the world.”

Don Rossenberg, Qualcomm’s executive VP and General Counsel in a statement said, “Apple has a history of infringing our patents. While we disagree with the Mannheim court’s decision and will appeal, we will continue to enforce our (intellectual property) rights against Apple worldwide.”

There are six patent cases filed by Qualcomm against Apple and this ruling is in the first case. The ruling in the second case is expected next month. We need to wait and see if this ruling affects the other cases.

The two companies recently have been deeply involved in patent legal battles worldwide. Apple stopped using Qualcomm chips in its devices. This is a first win for Apple in a series of cases filed by Qualcomm.

Qualcomm recently won a patent case against Apple in Germany. This forced Apple to stop selling its iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 in its Germany stores. In December 2018 Qualcomm won another patent case in China against Apple. Apple made changes to its iOS following its defeat but is still selling its iPhones in China.

Qualcomm is also in fight with the US Federal Trade Commission in an antitrust case. The FTC lawsuit filed in 2017 accuses Qualcomm of practicing “no license, no chips” policy. After three days of FTC’s complaint, Apple filed a lawsuit against Qualcomm accusing it of not giving fair licensing terms for its chip technology.

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