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Apple Products Face Ban In Germany After Patent Infringement Ruling

Source: Hngn, by: Chris Loterina

Apple-Kudelski

A Swiss company called Kudelski won a case against Apple over five video streaming patents that the Cupertino-based tech giant was proven to have infringed on. The ruling was issued by the Dusseldorf District Court in Germany on Tuesday.

The patents involved Kudelski’s OpenTV technologies, which it shares with a sister company called Nagra. The company argued that Apple has implemented these in a broad range of its own products, which include iOS mobile devices such as the iPhone and the iPad, the App Store, Apple TV and Mac devices.

“The claim is predominantly valid and well-founded,” the Dusseldorf court declared. The court’s decision is critical for Apple because it involves an order for the company to stop selling affected devices and technologies. What this means is that Apple is effectively barred from selling almost all of its devices in Germany, unarguably one of its most lucrative markets in Europe.

Both Apple and Kudelski are yet to release comments on the latest legal development. The former is, however, expected to appeal the court’s decision. There is also another option to resolve the issue, which is for Apple to reach a settlement agreement with Kudelski.

Kudelski has also filed a patent litigation against Apple in the U.S. last year for the same infringements. Considering the German ruling and Kudelski’s litigation record, Apple might be forced to settle the case. The Swiss company was already able to compel tech giants such as Cisco and Google to sign licensing deals after similar legal tussles over its video streaming patents. Recently, Kudelski has concluded multiple lawsuits against Netflix with cross-licensing agreement.

At present, Kudelski claims that it has 4,500 patents and patent applications. Some of the technologies were included in the company’s portfolio after acquiring several startups such as OpenTV. It is not yet clear whether more tech companies have committed infringements and whether Kudelski is just beginning with its crackdown.

Apple, for its part, had already suffered a string of patent-infringement case losses. For example, it was recently ordered to pay $626 million in damages for infringing on secure communications technology patents owned by VirnetX Holding Corporation.

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