Apple Faces iPhone Ban in Germany as Qualcomm Wins Patent Case

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The ruling is the latest decision in a long-running global patent war between the companies. Some days back, the chipmaker had won a similar lawsuit in China.

A German court has ruled in favour of Qualcomm in connection to its patent war with Apple. The California-based chipmaker won an injunction that allows a ban on sales of some iPhone models in Germany.

According to the District Court of Munich, Apple infringed on Qualcomm’s intellectual property for power savings in smartphones.

The ban covers “at least” the variations of the iPhone 7, 8, and X, Presiding Judge Matthias Zigann said while delivering the judgment on Thursday.

However, sales of most iPhones at the store-level may continue through Christmas. To start the injunction, Qualcomm is required to post a 668.4 million-euro ($765 million) bond to cover any losses if the ruling is reversed on appeal. And Qualcomm said that it will post the required bonds “within a few days.”

Meanwhile, Apple is also apparently planning to appeal the ruling. If the appeal is made, the injunction will not go into immediate effect.

During the appeal, Apple’s 15 own shops in the country won’t sell iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 models but iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR will remain available, the company said in a statement.

Second major win for Qualcomm

The ruling is the latest decision in a long-running global patent war between the companies. Some days back, the chipmaker had won a similar lawsuit in China.

Last week, Qualcomm said that the Fuzhou Intermediate People’s Court in China issued a similar order that applied to older iPhone 6s as well.

Qualcomm executive vice president and general counsel Don Rosenberg commented: “Two respected courts in two different jurisdictions just in the past two weeks have now confirmed the value of Qualcomm’s patents and declared Apple an infringer, ordering a ban on iPhones in the important markets of Germany and China.”

What makes the the injunctions in China and Germany different is the disputed technology. While in China, the disputed Qualcomm technology is entirely software-based, the disputed technology is seemingly hardware-based in Germany.

Thursday’s ruling is the first win in Germany, Europe’s biggest economy. The chipmaker has filed 13 cases in the country, one of which has been rejected.

 

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