Apple risks hefty fee in Germany patent trial

Feb 05, 2014
The Apple logo is seen outside the store in Beijing on December 22, 2013

Apple 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-dialling feature, the regional court of Mannheim said on Wednesday.

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 February 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 have waged worldwide, but especially in Germany, where laws are particularly strict.

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