Apple faces €1.57 billion patent damages claim in Germany

IPCom alleges that Apple infringed on its patent relating to the control of access to 3G mobile networks

German patent licensing firm IPCom has accused Apple of infringing a patent on 3G technology and wants €1.57 billion (US$2.1 billion) in damages, the Mannheim Regional Court said Wednesday.

IPCom has declared the patent, EP 1 841 268, essential to the implementation of 3G mobile standards, and a narrowed version of the patent was upheld by the European Patent Office (EPO) last month following challenges from Apple, Nokia, HTC, Ericsson and Vodafone.

The patent relates to the way handsets are allowed to access networks of various mobile telecommunications providers. The technology can be used to give some users priority access to networks in emergencies, even if the networks are overloaded, according to IPCom.

After the EPO had upheld the patent IPCom announced it would continue a number of related cases in the coming months.

The case against Apple is scheduled to be heard on Feb. 11 at the Mannheim Regional Court. It will deal with two patents that IPCom alleges Apple has infringed, the court said in a news release.

In addition to the recently upheld European patent, it also involves a German patent, DE 199 10 239, which relates to a way to manage access to overloaded wireless communication channels, the court said. IPCom did not demand a specific amount of damages from Apple for the second patent, the court added.

Apple and IPCom both declined to comment on the case.

When the EPO upheld the first patent in suit, IPCom said that it wanted companies to license the patent, adding that "the industry should bear in mind that damages for patent infringement set by the courts can be significantly higher than a license" on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms.

A separate case against Nokia over the European patent recently upheld by the EPO is scheduled to take place on May 28 at the Higher Regional Court of Karlsruhe.

IPCom was founded in 2007 and has a portfolio of almost 1,200 patents in about 160 patent families in the field of mobile communications. It says that 35 of those families are essential to implementation of key mobile communications standards in 2G (GSM), 2.5G (GPRS), 3G (UMTS) and subsequent generations.

Loek is Amsterdam Correspondent and covers online privacy, intellectual property, open-source and online payment issues for the IDG News Service. Follow him on Twitter at @loekessers or email tips and comments to loek_essers@idg.com

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags IPComAppleintellectual propertylegalpatent

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Loek Essers

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?