German Court Dismisses Qualcomm’s Second ‘Nuisance Lawsuit’ Against Apple

Qualcomm doesn’t seem to know to stop while its ahead. In December, it won a lawsuit against Apple claiming that the iPhone manufacturer had infringed on the chipmaker’s patents. The German courts handed down a decision in favor of Qualcomm.  Apple is appealing this first lawsuit.

Elated and encouraged by its win, Qualcomm decided to pursue another lawsuit against Apple for further patent infringement.

However, the German courts this time dismissed Qualcomm’s lawsuit as nothing but a nuisance lawsuit. Apple had countered that the patent was invalid and its stance was supported by the Swedish Patent and Registration Office which had found nothing new being done by Qualcomm to the chips that Apple was using from the first lawsuit.

According to Reuters,“The regional court in the city of Mannheim dismissed the Qualcomm suit as groundless in an initial verbal decision, saying the patent in question was not violated by the installation of its chips in Apple’s smartphones.”

Further, Reuters says patent experts also consider both of Qualcomm’s lawsuits as nuisance suits and the first lawsuit it won worth very little.

And according to Foss Patents’, Florian Mueller called it a nuisance lawsuit.  Mueller is considered to be one of the top 50 people with the most influence in the area of intellectual property.  Mueller said he was not going to lose any sleep over a nuisance lawsuit.

Mueller also says that Qualcomm’s earlier suit is of no great significance in practicality because the German courts decision the first time around would only affect 3% of Apple’s iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 business in Germany mainly because they are Apple’s older models. Apple replaced it’s operating chips for its newer models with another brand.

In the US, The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is still involved in the same dispute but is listening to more testimonies than were allowed in Germany (which is why Apple is appealing the decision there). 

Surprisingly, while this is going on, Apple is willing to go beyond this squabble with Qualcomm and wanted to purchase Qualcomm’s 4G chips for its iPhone XS, XS MAX AND XR.  However, Qualcomm will not sell to Apple as long as the battle goes on between them.

So business is for the taking for other companies who do produce the 4G chip such as: Broadcom, STM Electronics, NXP, Texas Instruments, and OmniVision.

Forbes writer, Ben Lovejoy, doesn’t think this isn’t going to end well for Qualcomm.