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Tag - IPCom
Germany's Mannheim Regional Court has dismissed two lawsuits against Apple and one against HTC, all of which were brought by IP holding firm IPCom, reports say. The cases revolved around a set of standards-essential 3G patents IPCom bought from Bosch after the latter exited the carphone industry. One of the suits, had it been successful, would have have demanded almost $2.2 billion in damages from Apple.
On February 11th, Apple will go to trial at Mannheim Regional Court to defend itself against a patent infringement suit brought by German patent firm IPCom, reports say. The latter company accuses Apple of violating a standards-essential wireless patent upheld by the European Patent Office last month; another, separate patent is also at stake. IPCom is asking for €1.57 billion ($2.12 billion) in damages, plus pre-judgment interest.
German customs officials have reportedly held HTC device shipments as part of the company's ongoing legal battle with 3G patent holder IPCom. Patent analyst Florian Mueller notes that the incident is not an actual import ban ordered by a body such as the International Trade Commission, and it remains unclear if the shipments were eventually allowed to pass into the country ahead of a damages hearing held Friday in Mannheim courts.
In June 2011, IPCom won a legal dispute versus Nokia over a patent that covers implementation of priority access to cell networks for first responders and other designated users, typically law enforcement and government. Nokia was found to be using the intellectual property, without proper licensing, in its implementation of 3G. The parties have since been negotiating for a licensing agreement. A UK judge indicated to IPCom last week that an injunction wasn't possible based on Nokia's good-faith effort to negotiate a license.
The European Patent Office has revoked a patent owned by IPCom, days after the company won a patent case against Nokia. The patent describes a method for connecting and prioritizing devices on 3G networks.
Nokia isn't too concerned by losing a court case on Friday related to phone patents belonging to patent firm IPCom. The ruling affects only phones that are no longer sold by the company, so the damage is minimal, according to Nokia. A company spokesperson said the patent was granted in February of 2011 and current products use different technology.
HTC saw a further setback in its attempts to survive patent conflicts on Monday after a US Court of Appeals in Washington ruled (PDF) that an earlier decision invalidating an IPCom patent in a lawsuit couldn't be upheld. The judge who had overseen the original case, where HTC had sued IPCom to negate its patent, would have to listen to arguments from IPCom as to why the patent was still valid. It would revive a lawsuit HTC had initiated in 2008 and thought it had resolved with its victory in 2010.
IPCom's attempts to sue HTC's store partners to block sales may have been thwarted as a German court has reportedly put in place a preliminary ban on the threats. The 3G patent holder was said by HTC attorneys to be momentarily blocked from trying to sue any retailer that carries the phones. The gesture would effectively clear HTC to stay in the German market until the ban was lifted.
Patent collecting company IPCom is targeting nearly 100 phone retailers in Germany for patent infringement as they continued to sell HTC phones after a court-imposed deadline. The stop-sell date of December 20 was imposed earlier in December, and cease and desist letters were sent on December 6, IPCom said, according to a Thursday report. The original patent dispute between IPCom and HTC with its 3G handsets dates back to February of 2009.
HTC faced another setback Friday after it decided to drop an appeal against a ban on its 3G devices in Germany. The company made the surprise reversal after it decided that it wasn't likely to win against IPCom, which claims all of HTC's 3G hardware violates its patents. IPCom claimed that it would have "no choice" but to ban HTC's hardware before the end of the year, as HTC had "never" had any cash offer that could be enough to cover the patents.