Apple Risks Hefty Fee in Germany Patent Trial

Apple Risks Hefty Fee in Germany Patent Trial

German patent-holding company IPCom is demanding 1.57 billion euros ($2.0 billion) in damages from the California-based giant in a trial set to start Feb. 11 that involves two patents.

BERLIN -- Apple (IW 500/4) is caught up in a new patent battle in Germany, risking a 1.5-billion-euro fine at a trial over the iPhone's emergency phone-dialing feature, the regional court of Mannheim said today.

German patent-holding company IPCom is demanding 1.57 billion euros ($2.0 billion) in damages from the California-based giant in a trial set to start Feb. 11 that involves two patents.

The European Patent Office recently approved the validity of one of the patents, which was contested by several firms, including Apple, according to reports.

The IDG news service, which covers technology, said that IPCom has a portfolio of around 1,200 patents in the mobile communications sector.

The IPCom patent at the heart of the case, bought from engineering company Robert Bosch GmbH in 2007, allows priority access to certain mobile phone calls even when a network is saturated.

The case is just one of many patent battles that technology companies have waged worldwide, but especially in Germany, where patent protection laws are particularly strict.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2014

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