Apple Slapped With $2.2 Billion Patent Infringement Case
A German patent-holding firm is suing Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) for around $2 billion in damages on allegations that the U.S. tech giant infringed on cell-phone technology it owns, a German court announced Wednesday, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
The patented technology in question, owned by German company IPCom GmbH, gives emergency calls priority on mobile networks; when two calls are placed at the same time, for instance, the emergency call will take precedence. The company specified that its demand for more than 1.57 euros in damages only covers Apple’s alleged infringement on devices sold within Germany, although its unknown whether the company will file the suit in other countries as well.
Presiding Judge Holger Kircher says in order to win the suit, IPCOm must prove to the court that the patent isn’t limited to technology that uses just one bit — “bit” being a contraction of “binary digit” — for coding information, according to Bloomberg. “One or three bits, that’s the key issue here,” said Kircher. “We will issue a separate ruling on this — which means we won’t even touch today the question of what amount of damages would be warranted in case of an infringement finding,” he added.
Last month, a myriad of smartphone tech companies requested that the patent in question be declared invalid by the European Patent Office; Apple, Nokia, HTC, Vodafone, and Ericsson all put in requests, and all of them were rejected. IPCom has said it is suing other companies besides Apple for infringement on the same patent, including Nokia, although Nokia hasn’t confirmed that such a lawsuit exists.