A Munich Court Today Dismissed another Four Qualcomm Patent Infringement Lawsuits filed against Apple
In October Patently Apple posted a legal report titled "A Huge win: Munich Court Throws out Qualcomm Patent Infringement Lawsuit against Apple, " followed by a January 2019 report titled "German Court throws out Qualcomm's Patent Infringement Case against Apple for being Groundless." Today there was more good news for Apple coming out of Germany.
According to a new report posted this morning a Munich Court dealt Qualcomm yet another setback – technically a set of setbacks – as half of Qualcomm's patent infringement lawsuits against Apple's Spotlight search have been tossed and the other half is going down the tubes.
Non-infringement was successfully argued for Apple by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer's Prince Wolrad of Waldeck and Pyrmont.
Below is a partial Google Translation of the Munich Court's Press Release on Today's Court Rulings:
Press release 1 from 31.01.2019
Four lawsuits against the "Siri & Search" function dismissed
Spokeswoman: Ri'inLG Dr. Anne-Kristin Fricke
The Munich I district court today has four of the total of eight lawsuits by Qualcomm Inc. against Apple Inc. (California-based US company and parent company of the Apple Group), together with a subsidiary (Apple Distribution International ULC with registered office) in Ireland) and the operator of physical retail stores in Germany (Apple Retail Germany BV & Co. KG) for infringing European patents 1 955 529 and 1 956 806 ("Method and apparatus for communication channel selection") (7 O 14454 / 17, 7 O 14459/17, 7 O 14461/17 and 7 O 14456/17).
The 7th Civil Division of the Landgericht München I did not recognize any infringement of the patents in suit by the function Spotlight Search / Siri & Search for the defendants' mobile phones. In particular, the court saw no realization of the feature "standby ad". For an input option in a standby mode within the meaning of the patents in suit in the opinion of the board is not present when the user must first targeted an application must call. But that is exactly the case with the controversial previous version of the search functionality (up to and including ioS 11) of the function "Spotlight Search / Siri & Search".
In four further proceedings concerning the patents EP 3 094 067 and EP 3 054 658 (Az. 7 O 14455/17, 7 O 14457/17, 7 O 14460/17 and 7 O 14462/17), which likewise opposes the function Spotlight Search / Siri & Search (up to and including ioS 11), the 7th Civil Division has not yet reached a final decision. The applicant may first comment in writing on provisional references of the Opposition Division of the European Patent Office, which were issued after the last hearing.
Two further proceedings of the plaintiff against the defendant are expected to be heard by the Munich I district court on 28.03.2019 for the alleged infringement of the European patent EP 1 988 602 "Monopoly-like antenna" (reference 7 O 7358/18).
For more on this story's development, be sure to check out the full FOSS Patents report here.
In related news, we learn from a Bloomberg report that yesterday Qualcomm escalated its patent fight with Apple by asking a Munich court to fine the company for insufficient compliance with a ban on the sale of iPhones in Germany obtained days before Christmas.
Qualcomm's general counsel Don Rosenberg ramped up the hysteria with the press by stating that "The Apple units "intentionally defy the court order. They obviously don’t consider themselves bound by the injunction." Qualcomm’s lawyers wrote in their filings to the Court that "Significant fines must be imposed to put a check on that."
In reality, Apple pulled the relevant iPhones from their German stores in late December. Secondly the Munich Court has already dealt with this, in respect to Apple's wrongfully slanted press release. On January 18th Patently Apple posted a report titled "German Court Orders Apple to Stop using Misleading and Potentially Deceptive Statements about iPhone Availability." Apple has complied. The court didn't fine Apple then and unless there's a new violation on record, the Court won't entertain Qualcomm's emotional theatrics.
If Qualcomm is talking about retailers outside of Apple's control, Apple is only obligated to send them a letter to pull the relevant iPhones but can't legally force them to return iPhones, according to a legal expert.