In order to make a claim of patent infringement against an individual or organization, the infringing product must perform all of the functions laid out in the patent. For example, if an inventor registers a patent on a device that combs your hair, brushes your teeth and cooks you breakfast, he cannot sue another organization that produces a device that combs your hair and cooks you breakfast. According to The Wall Street Journal, the German company IPCom GmbH attempted to sue Apple for $2.17 billion on the grounds of patent infringement.
IPCom purchased a number of patents from Robert Bosch GmbH in 2007 for the technology responsible for identifying a mobile device’s priority access to a network. Using the patented technology, a mobile device sends a 1 or 0 bit, the smallest unit of information, to the network. Apple’s lawyers are claiming that the suit is invalid because their technology uses eight units of information contained in three bits to recognize priority access for mobile devices.
IPCom GmbH’s attorneys hoped that the presiding judge would interpret Apple’s use of three bits as three individual infringements on the patent. However, the German court ruled the opposite, that the use of three bits must be treated as one technology that does not infringe on the single bit patent. The CEO of IPCom GmbH said he was “very surprised by this decision, particularly since the very same court—like others in Germany and the U.K.—has already determined a multitude of infringements of this patent.”
The German court ruled in favor of IPCom GmbH in a similar suit against Nokia, but they also dismissed a similar claim against HTC. If the ruling is not appealed, smart phone manufacturers can breathe a sigh of relief, because the priority access technology is used across the market. If an organization is unnecessarily suing you or your company for patent infringement, our Los Angeles business litigation attorneys can help.
The law offices of Robert G. Klein have over 25 years of experience defending victims of intellectual property disputes. For more information, contact us. To schedule a confidential consultation with one of our Los Angeles business litigation attorneys, call us today at (323) 653-3900.
[Did You Know: According to ipwatchdog.com, patent infringement cases have increased in number since the 2011 Americans Invent Act.]
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