The German patent holding company IPCom GmbH has filed a lawsuit against Apple alleging the iPhone and iPad maker is infringing on a patent it owns covering technology that gives emergency calls higher priority on cell service networks. IPCom is asking for €1.57 billion, or about US$2.12 billion, in damages.
German patent troll targets Apple with infringement lawsuit
The lawsuit was filed after the European Patent Office refused to grant a request from Apple, Nokia, HTC, Ericsson, Vodafone, and PLC to invalidate the patent, according to the Wall Street Journal. IPCom filed its case in Germany's regional court in Mannheim.
Giving calls to emeregency services like police and fire departments is a common feature for cell phones, including Apple's iPhone. The idea is that calls to those services should get through no matter how many other calls are active on a carrier's network.
IPCom was launched in 2007 by Bernhard Frohwitter, a former patent attorney for the German auto parts company Bosch. The company holds about 1,200 patents developed by Bosch and Hitachi, but isn't a product maker.
Apple isn't a stranger to patent troll lawsuits. Most recently, the company was hit with a lawsuit at the end of January when Hilltop Technology filed documents in U.S. Federal Court claiming the iPad Air infringed on a capacitive touch screen patent it holds. That case was filed in Marshall, Texas, which is known for favoring patent trolls.
Along with Apple, IPCom is also suing Nokia as well as other companies. The company also hasn't ruled out filing similar infringement lawsuits in other countries.
Apple hasn't commented on the lawsuit.