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German court rules Apple infringed Qualcomm patent



MUNICH / SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – A German court ruled on Thursday that iPhone maker Apple Inc. violated a hardware patent or Qualcomm Inc. and said the U.S. Firma kunne ikke længere sælge nogle iPhone-modeller i Tyskland, som indeholder en bestemt komponent.

The ruling will not go into immediate effect if Apple appeals,

A woman looks at the screen of this mobile phone in front of an Apple logo outside its store in Shanghai, China July 30, 2017. REUTERS / Aly Song

Judge Matthias Zigann told the court.

The German case is Qualcomm's third major effort to secure a ban on Apple's lucrative iPhones on patent infringement allegations after similar court efforts in the United States and China.

In Germany, Qualcomm is seeking a ban on some iPhones with chips from Intel Corp. The judge ruled that phones that contain a chip from Apple supplier. Qorvo Inc violated one of Qualcomm's patents around so-called envelope tracking, a feature that helps mobile phones save battery power while sending and receiving wireless signals.

"Competition authorities around the world have repeatedly found Qualcomm's licensing practices unlawful, yet Qualcomm continues to try to achieve the same results through a campaign of patent lawsuits. These lawssuits have been largely unsuccessful, and at best would reduce innovation and raise prices, "Steven Rodgers, Intel's general counsel, said in a statement.

Apple and Qorvo were not immediately available for comment.

Qualcomm sued Apple in the regional court in Munich last July, seeking a injunction to stop some iPhone sales in Germany as well as monetary damages.

The case is part of a broader court conflict between the two, in which Apple has alleged that Qualcomm engaged in anti-competitive business practices to protect a monopoly on so-called modem chips, which help mobile phones connect to wireless data networks. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has also sued Qualcomm on its business practices in a case set to go trial in California next month.

Qualcomm has alleged in courts around the world that Apple violated its patents and has sought bans on iPhone sales in the United States and China.

U.S. Regulators found Apple infringed one Qualcomm patent but has so far recommended against banning some iPhone sales, but a Chinese court issued a sales ban on some iPhones earlier this month. Apple said its phones remain on sale and that it believes it has complied with the Chinese court's order, but it also made changes to its iPhone software in the wake of the ruling.

Reporting by Joern Poltz in Munich and Stephen Nellis in San Francisco, writing by Emma Thomasson, editing by Tassilo Hummel and Bernadette Baum

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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