Qualcomm scored a number of victories in its patent battle with Apple last year, winning preliminary injunctions to prevent the sale of older iPhones in both China and Germany. It seems as though lightning doesn’t strike twice in the same country, as a German court has completely dismissed Qualcomm’s second lawsuit.
Reuters reports that the Mannheim-based court rejected the second patent lawsuit on the basis that claims were “groundless,” and that Apple hadn’t breached the patent in question. This seems to be a common feeling, as world-renowned patent expert Florian Müller has previously called Qualcomm’s filing a “nuisance.” Simplifying the terminology in patent EP2460270, Müller states that the mentioned “Switch with improved biasing” simply means a switch that can better allow one voltage to control another.
Apple didn’t comment on the Mannheim court ruling, but has based its entire defence on the patent being invalid. Agreed upon by the Swedish Patent & Registration Office, Apple alleges that Qualcomm hasn’t actually provided anything new within the patent, which would absolve the company of any wrongdoing.
While the smartphone manufacturer appeals other legal proceedings Qualcomm has brought forth, Apple has removed the iPhone 7 and 8 from sale in its own German stores, while the latest models remain on the shelves. Apple fans aren’t too caught out however, as all iPhone handsets continue to be available through carriers and third-party vendors.
Back in the United States, Qualcomm is undergoing an anti-trust investigation by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for abusing its monopoly on mobile chip technology. It doesn’t help that Apple wanted to include Qualcomm’s 4G modems in the iPhone XS Series but was ultimately knocked back due to the on-going litigation.
KitGuru Says: The tables seem to be turning for Qualcomm, which seems to have its case crumbling from underneath it. Hopefully this will all be over soon.