IPCom's $2 Billion Patent Lawsuit Against Apple Dismissed by German Court
German patent licensing company IPCom was handed a setback today when both of its patent infringement lawsuits against Apple were dismissed in a German court, reports FOSS Patents. The decisions were handed down by two different chambers within the Mannheim Regional Court.
Two lawsuits against Apple, including one involving a €1.57 billion ($2.2 billion) "partial" damages claim, and one against HTC (a company IPCom has been suing for about six years) were dismissed because the court concluded that Apple and HTC didn't infringe a certain IPCom patent family by implementing the 3G/UMTS standard.
The patents cited in the dismissed lawsuits include European patent EP1841268 and German patent DE19910239, which describe methods of managing priority emergency access when wireless networks are overloaded. Apple, Nokia, HTC and others asked the European Patent Office to invalidate the European patent, but the EPO denied this request.
IPCom is expected to appeal these decisions, while Apple and other mobile manufacturers likely will continue to challenge the validity of this patent. Outside of Germany, Apple is petitioning both the U.S. Supreme Court and the EU to limit the power of patent holding companies like IPCom in future infringement cases.
Top Rated Comments
This is as empty an argument as the US Government tried to make against Apple for using existing tax laws to avoid paying more taxes. Apple or any other company can recognize and argue that the current patent system is unreasonable or unfair, while at the same time playing by the same rules as everyone else.
I have a certain amount of admiration for a company willing to make a sincere case that the very rules it's taking advantage of are unfair and should be changed. That doesn't mean they should refuse the play the game and let everyone else walk all over them until the landscape changes.
They should do it in Texas..
Yet even WPS cannot bump anyone already using a connection. It simply puts the person in the front of the queue for the next free slot.
The lack of bump-someone-else priority for such calls is why it's so important for people to stay off their phones during an emergency, so 911 and official calls can go through quickly.
(There are plans to add true priority, but I do not know if they have been implemented yet.)
Apparently the patent owners do _not_ deserve any license fees, because Apple and HTC proved that they are not actually using the technology described in the patent. You could argue that similar to standard essential patents, perhaps there should be special rules for patents where the use of the patent leads to substantial benefits for society, not just a competitive advantage for the company using it.