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German licensing firm accuses Apple of $2 billion in patent damages

IPCom is accusing Apple of infringing a patent on 3G technology and holding the company liable for over $2 billion in damages on behalf of the claim

It has become commonplace to hear the words patent infringement and Apple in the same sentence. The latest claim comes from a German patent licensing firm called IPCom that is accusing Apple of infringing a patent on 3G technology and holding them liable for over $2 billion in damages on behalf of the claim.

In short, the patent in question relates the way mobile handsets are able to access networks of mobile telecommunication providers such as AT&T and Verizon. The technology can even be used to give some users priority access to networks in emergencies, even if the networks are overloaded, according to IPCom. 

A recent PC World report states that 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.

Come Feb. 11, IPCom and Apple will each state their case at the Mannheim Regional Court regarding two patents that IPCom alleges infringement claims against Apple. The second patent involves German patent, DE 199 10 239, which relates to a way to manage access to overloaded wireless communication channels. According to the report, 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.

In other Apple related patent news, just this week, Apple was slapped with another patent lawsuit, from Hilltop Technologies, LLC, who owns patent 7,864,503, which covers technology relating to touchscreens. Since iPhones and iPads are fundamentally dependent on their capacitive touch panels, this suit aims right at the tech giant’s flagship products. In addition, a federal judge has denied an October motion by Apple to sanction the electronics giant in connection to obtaining sensitive data about Apple’s 2011 patent license with Nokia.


For more news in the IP patent and licensing sector, read these related articles:

Is patent trolling on the rise?

Google strikes cross-licensing agreement with Cisco

IP: Understanding and tracking your IP assets

Will the Supreme Court clarify which 'computer-implemented inventions' are patent eligible?

Contributing Author

Stefanie Mosca

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