Apple Wins Dismissal Of $2.2 Billion Patent Troll Suit


Apple has won the dismissal of a 1.57 billion-euro ($2.2 billion) German lawsuit, relating to an IPCom patent it was supposedly infringing upon.

While no oral explanation has been given for the verdict, the court in Mannheim, Germany decided that Apple didn’t infringe on the property of IPCom, and also dismissed a similar case against mobile manufacturer HTC.

German holding company IPCom owns a portfolio of 1,200 patents in the mobile communications sector. The specific patents involved with this case were reportedly bought from German engineering company Bosch in 2007.

Several companies, including Apple, have contested IPCom’s ownership of the patent in the past, although the European Patent Office recently confirmed IPCom as the rightful owner.

The court has considerable significance for IPCom, since its “100” series patents — concerning methods for helping to place emergency calls even when a network is saturated — are central to its patent portfolio. IPCom has previously been referred to as a “patent troll” since it does not actually manufacture any products with its patents.

The sum the company had been seeking from Apple would have been the highest damages sum ever paid in connection with a patent dispute: reflective of the value of Apple as a company.

About the author

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

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