Apple to defend itself against $2 billion patent infringement suit

A German company claims that the iPhone maker has violated one of its patents related to cellular technology.

CNET UK

Apple is facing yet another lawsuit accusing it of patent infringement.

In a suit filed in Germany, patent owner IPCom GmbH claims that Apple is illegally using a patented technology that gives priority to emergency phone calls on overcrowded cellular networks, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday. As such, IPCom wants Apple to pay 1.57 billion euros ($2.12 billion) in damages.

The suit against Apple goes to court on February 11, according to Foss Patents. Munich-based IPCom has been busy the past few years filing lawsuits against the likes of Nokia and HTC , winning some cases and losing others.

A patent assertion firm, IPCom bought the patent in question from German car parts maker Robert Bosch GmbH in 2007, the Journal said. Patent holders often sell certain patents to these firms to avoid being embroiled in potential lawsuits. In return, the patent assertion firms collect any financial damages and share the proceeds with the patent holder.

But more companies are fighting back against patent assertion firms, sometimes known as patent trolls. Google recently signed patent cross-licensing agreements with Samsung and Cisco , a move that prevents any patent included in the agreement from being sold to patent assertion firms.

About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.

 

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