IPCom's Patent Infringement Suit Against Apple Thrown Out

The Mannheim Regional Court in Germany dismissed IPCom's patent infringement case against Apple on Friday. The court said that Apple wasn't infringing on 3G/UTMS patents IPCom bought from Bosch.

German Court dismisses IPCom's patent infringement case against AppleGerman Court dismisses IPCom's patent infringement case against Apple

The ruling is a big loss for IPCom because the company makes its money from licensing patents and pressuring companies into payments through litigation.

IPCom was asking the German Court for €1.57 billion, or a little over US$2 billion, in damages. Along with Apple, IPCom was suing HTC and other smartphone manufacturers over patents related to placing calls to emergency services such as police and fire departments.

"Today's decisions are, without a doubt, a setback for IPCom's enforcement efforts," said Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents.

This case isn't, however, finished because IPCom can -- and most likely will -- appeal the Court's ruling. Should IPCom prevail on appeal, the case will move forward. That said, Apple has already successfully defended its position that it hasn't infringed on IPCom-owned patents well enough to get the case dismissed for now.

Bernhard Frohwitter, former patent attorney for Bosch, launched IPCom in 2007 and currently holds about 1,200 patents from the auto parts maker and Hitachi. The company doesn't make any products and instead relies on licensing fees for revenue.

If IPCom can't get the German Court's ruling overturned, it's going to have a hard time using the same patents in lawsuits against other companies. For Apple, HTC, Nokia and others, they have one fewer set of patents to worry about for now.