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German court rules in favor of Apple in IPCom GmBH & Co patent lawsuit

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(Credit: Reuters) The Apple Inc. logo hangs inside the newest Apple Store in New York City's Grand Central Station during a press preview of the store.Apple Inc
February 28
10:04 AM 2014

Apple Inc convinced a German court to dismiss the €1.57 billion or $2.2 billion lawsuit filed against it in Germany about the technology utilized to decide how to prioritize calls for mobile networks, Bloomberg reported.

A Mannheim court ruled that there was no infringement on the two patents claimed by IPCom GmBH & Co KG by the California-based tech giant. The court, however, did not cite the reason behind its ruling. Another dismissal was also obtained by HTC Corp on one of the patents claimed by IPCom, the report said.

The decisions set back the efforts of patent holding firm IPCom which has filed lawsuits against mobile device manufacturers concerning the technology it bought from Robert Bosch GmBH seven years ago. At the core of this portfolio are the "100" series patents that put in place methods to get emergency calls through, the report said.

IPCom is not a product manufacturer but has earned for itself the label "patent troll" because it gives licenses to its patents and then sues its targets to get revenue. Apple was one of the 19 firms and associations that asked the European Union to lessen the ability of non-makers to get sanctions concerning cases related to intellectual property. The organizations sent their petition through a letter written to the EU this week, the report said.

In 2012, the European Patent Office struck down the European patent that was the subject of the lawsuit against Apple. This was after Apple and other firms Nokia Oyj, HTC Corp, Ericsson AB and Vodfone Group Plc challenged it. IPCom, which called the patent "100A," made an appeal and another hearing was scheduled. The European Patent Office narrowed the scope of the patent but sustained it nonetheless, the report said.

According to Holger Kircher, the Presiding Judge in the Apple case, in a hearing held earlier this month, the new framing of the said patent warranted another look, the report said. 

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