The chipmaker had argued Intel -powered iPhones infringed a transistor switch patent it holds. But in an initial verbal decision the court disagreed. Qualcomm has said it will appeal.
In a statement, Don Rosenberg, Qualcomm’s executive VP and general counsel, said: “Apple has a history of infringing our patents. While we disagree with the Mannheim court’s decision and will appeal, we will continue to enforce our [intellectual property] rights against Apple worldwide.”
We’ve reached out to Apple for comment. Update: The company told us: “We are happy with the decision and thank the court for their time and diligence. We regret Qualcomm’s use of the court to divert attention from their illegal behavior that is the subject of multiple lawsuits and proceedings around the world.”
The pair have been embroiled in an increasingly bitter and global legal battle in recent years, as Apple has shifted away from using Qualcomm chips in its devices.
Two years ago the FTC also filed charges against the chipmaker accusing it of anticompetitive tactics in an attempt to maintain a monopoly (Apple is officially cited in the complaint). That trial began early this month.
Cupertino has also filed a billion-dollar royalty lawsuit accusing Qualcomm of charging for patents “they have nothing to do with”.
While the latest court decision in Mannheim has gone in Apple’s favor, a separate ruling in Germany late last year went Qualcomm’s way. And earlier this month Apple was forced to withdraw the iPhone 7 and 8 from its retail stores in Germany, after Qualcomm posted €1.34BN in security bonds to enforce the December court decision — which related to a power management patent.
Although the affected iPhone models remain on sale in Germany via resellers. Apple is also appealing.
Qualcomm also recently secured a preliminary injunction banning the import and sales of some older iPhone models in China. Again, Apple is appealing.