A German court has thrown out a patent suit filed by US chipmaker Qualcomm against Apple, in an initial verbal decision.
Yesterday, January 15, the Mannheim Regional Court dismissed the Qualcomm suit as “groundless” and said the European patent in question, for a “switch with improved biasing” (Number EP2460270), was not violated by the installation of Qualcomm’s chips in Apple’s smartphones.
Following its initial decision, the court is now expected to submit a full filing with its rationale, which will include a set of reasons on which the decision was based.
In a statement to Reuters, Apple said Qualcomm was using its legal action against Apple to distract from its “illegal behaviour”.
“We are happy with the decision and thank the court for their time and diligence,” Apple said.
“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,” it added.
Qualcomm said it would appeal against the court’s decision.
Qualcomm’s executive vice president and general counsel, Don Rosenberg, told Reuters that Qualcomm disagreed with the Mannheim’s court decision and will “continue to enforce its rights against Apple worldwide”.
“Apple has a history of infringing our patents,” he added.
The two companies are currently involved in a global IP battle, with more than 50 lawsuits being filed in six countries.
In December, the District Court of Munich granted Qualcomm an injunction against Apple that banned the sale of older iPhone models—iPhone 7 and 8—in Germany.
The Munich court’s decision ruled that Apple phones containing a combination of chips from technology company Intel and supplier Qorvo violated one of Qualcomm’s patents for “envelope tracking”, a feature that helps mobile phones save battery while sending and receiving wireless signals
The smartphone maker said after the verdict last month that the banned models will not be sold at Apple’s 15 retail stores in Germany. However, they will still be sold through mobile network carriers and third-party retailers throughout Germany.