Qualcomm wins dubious envelope tracker patent case against Apple in Munich

“Presiding Judge Dr. Matthias Zigann of the Munich I Regional Court (‘Landgericht München I’) just announced his panel’s decisions on, technically, ten Qualcomm v. Apple patent infringement complaints,” Florian Mueller writes for FOSS Patents. “The key question is now whether a ban of Intel [modem]-powered iPhones up to the iPhone X (but not the latest models) will actually be enforced. The court based the infringement holding merely on an allegedly insufficiently-substantiated denial by Apple, not on actual clarification of how the accused chips operate. It’s all because Qualcomm alleged something and Apple couldn’t deny it without violating Qorvo’s secrets.”

“In the two cases over a patent on a power-efficient envelope tracker chip design, the court relied on the fact that the court-appointed expert, like the three judges on the panel, couldn’t see (given Qorvo’s insistence on confidentiality) how the accused chips operate if not the way Qualcomm alleges, and on that basis the court handed down an injunction,” Mueller writes. “This surprises me in light of what Qorvo had told me (and what I found credible and plausible).”

“The ITC did not hold a different claim from the same patent family infringed, after evaluating the chipset schematics (which Qualcomm’s lawyers prevented from being analyzed in the Munich proceedings) and hearing the testimony of Mike Kay, the designer of the accused chip,” Mueller writes. “I am shocked that Qualcomm’s procedural gamesmanship — firstly conducting discovery in the U.S. for the stated purpose of presenting chipset schematics in the Munich court, then making an about-face and asking the German court to rule, and the court-appointed expert to opine, on a basis that’s lacking and wanting — has been rewarded. If they have the law and the facts on their side, they deserve to win, but here they wanted — and disconcertingly obtained — a ruling on a basis that I’ve previously called ‘evidentiary minimalism’ and which would be totally unimaginable in the United States with its far-reaching discovery regime.”

“The discrepancy between the outcome at the [U.S.] ITC (based on a robust body of evidence) and the one in Munich makes it quite a possibility that Munich reached the wrong conclusion,” Mueller writes. “Efficiency is a virtue, and it’s often considered a German virtue — but when the interests of justice are disregarded the way it happened here, it’s more of a vice.”

Much more info in the full article – recommendedhere.

MacDailyNews Take: So, it’s reveal your secrets or lose the case? Seriously, Judge Zigann?

By the way, the injunction will not go into immediate effect if Apple appeals, which they most certainly should.

German court rules Apple infringed Qualcomm patent – December 20, 2018

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