Apple's claim that all iPhones are available at retail enjoined by German court

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 18
A German court on Friday granted Qualcomm a preliminary injunction against part of an Apple press statement, which claimed that all iPhones would remain available through third parties despite a December ban.

iPhone 8 Plus


"The press release is misleading because it contains statements that are at least potentially deceptive about the availability of the goods," judges wrote in a ruling seen by Bloomberg. "The statement conveys the impression of unlimited availability."

The December ban, won by Qualcomm, required Apple to pull the iPhone 7, 8, 8 Plus, and X from sale in Germany, accusing Apple supplier Qorvo of violating an "envelope tracking" patent related to conserving battery power while a modem is active. In response Apple issued a statement calling Qualcomm's actions a "a desperate attempt to distract from the real issues between our companies," and pledging that "all iPhone models remain available to customers through carriers and resellers in 4,300 locations across Germany."

The company did pull the iPhone 7 and 8 lines from its own stores. The iPhone X was discontinued with the introduction of the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR this fall.

Friday's decision follows an Apple victory elsewhere in Germany, tossing a Qualcomm claim that iPhones violate a patent on transistor power management. Qualcomm quickly promised to appeal.

Apple and Qualcomm have been engaged in a global legal war since January 2017, when Apple launched a lawsuit claiming Qualcomm was withholding nearly $1 billion in rebates in retaliation for Apple's cooperation with antitrust investigators. The situation has since grown nearly out of control, with suits and countersuits being launched around the world. Another iPhone ban is in effect in China.

The governments of Taiwan, South Korea, the U.S. and Europe have also probed Qualcomm's business practices and in some cases issued punishments. The recurring theme is that Qualcomm has forced chip buyers to sign patent agreements, and in the case of Apple, asked for exclusivity to make royalties cheaper. The latter company now only uses Intel modems.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 6
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,589member
    The injunction order required not only that Apple themselves remove the "infringing" handsets from it's own stores but that stock at existing authorized resellers be removed and destroyed. That the Apple PR statement inferring that sales would continue as normal is misleading should be obvious IMO.  

    They're both still in the controlling the story phase....
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 2 of 6
    bellsbells Posts: 127member
    gatorguy said:
    The injunction order required not only that Apple themselves remove the "infringing" handsets from it's own stores but that stock at existing authorized resellers be removed and destroyed. That the Apple PR statement inferring that sales would continue as normal is misleading should be obvious IMO.  

    They're both still in the controlling the story phase....
    That isn’t what this decision implies. The story implies the court just doesn’t want the impression of unlimited availability. Fosspatents, whose author is German, says the decision only applies to the parties themselves not third parties. You can go on the carriers German websites right now and find the applicable iPhones. You’d think Qualcomm would be going after them if they couldn’t sell them.
    genovelleronn
  • Reply 3 of 6
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,589member
    bells said:
    gatorguy said:
    The injunction order required not only that Apple themselves remove the "infringing" handsets from it's own stores but that stock at existing authorized resellers be removed and destroyed. That the Apple PR statement inferring that sales would continue as normal is misleading should be obvious IMO.  

    They're both still in the controlling the story phase....
    That isn’t what this decision implies. The story implies the court just doesn’t want the impression of unlimited availability. Fosspatents, whose author is German, says the decision only applies to the parties themselves not third parties. You can go on the carriers German websites right now and find the applicable iPhones. You’d think Qualcomm would be going after them if they couldn’t sell them.
    Have you noticed that Florian stopped reporting on the trial as soon as the FTC had made their case and it became QC's chance to answer and defend? He's already crowned the FTC as the victor. A dozen articles in just a few days explaining the FTC's arguments and now barely a mention of Qualcomm's. That's why I believe you should take what Mr Mueller has to say with a grain of salt. By all appearances he has a new paying client... 

    As far as I had read the injunction required Apple to recover stock they had sent to resellers in addition to what was in their own company stores. Perhaps the judgement hasn't been properly reported and that was incorrect but I wouldn't take just Florians word on what it meant. He might be right, or he might have other reasons for downplaying it. 
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 4 of 6
    bellsbells Posts: 127member
    gatorguy said:
    bells said:
    gatorguy said:
    The injunction order required not only that Apple themselves remove the "infringing" handsets from it's own stores but that stock at existing authorized resellers be removed and destroyed. That the Apple PR statement inferring that sales would continue as normal is misleading should be obvious IMO.  

    They're both still in the controlling the story phase....
    That isn’t what this decision implies. The story implies the court just doesn’t want the impression of unlimited availability. Fosspatents, whose author is German, says the decision only applies to the parties themselves not third parties. You can go on the carriers German websites right now and find the applicable iPhones. You’d think Qualcomm would be going after them if they couldn’t sell them.
    Have you noticed that Florian stopped reporting on the trial as soon as the FTC had made their case and it became QC's chance to answer and defend? He's already crowned the FTC as the victor. A dozen articles in just a few days explaining the FTC's arguments and now barely a mention of Qualcomm's. That's why I believe you should take what Mr Mueller has to say with a grain of salt. By all appearances he has a new paying client... 

    As far as I had read the injunction required Apple to recover stock they had sent to resellers in addition to what was in their own company stores. Perhaps the judgement hasn't been properly reported and that was incorrect but I wouldn't take just Florians word on what it meant. He might be right, or he might have other reasons for downplaying it. 
    I do take his word with a grain of salt. He is however a good resource for the German patent system if you can leave out his opinions on fact. I also think his view is in accords with what you see going on in Germany. That being third parties still selling iPhones, and Qualcomm not going after them. I also don't think Apple would have said its phones were still available if that weren't true. If you follow the links on his website, carriers such as T-Mobile are still selling iPhones in Germany. 

    As far as the FTC case goes, the only pre-trial ruling I am aware of that the Judge has made has gone in the FTC's favor. That doesn't mean it will win, but it is usually harder to be a defendant than a plaintiff. Again, I don't always like Florian, but so far it has been the FTC putting on its case. It would only make sense things have gone its way so far. Further, I think Florian is laying it on thick in the FTC's favor, but he has said when he thought Qualcomm had a good day. For instance, he thought Qualcomm's CEO's testimony was favorable, but it was rebutted by today's witness who claimed Qualcomm did in fact refuse access to its standard essential patents without a license to its whole portfolio. 

    Then again I'm in the camp that the standard essential patent rate should be based on the component cost, not the final product cost. 
    bb-15
  • Reply 5 of 6
    gatorguy said:
    Have you noticed that Florian stopped reporting on the trial as soon as the FTC had made their case and it became QC's chance to answer and defend? He's already crowned the FTC as the victor. A dozen articles in just a few days explaining the FTC's arguments and now barely a mention of Qualcomm's. 
    I believe the reason why it appeared that Mr. Mueller stopped reporting after the FTC rested on Tuesday had less to do with him crowning a winner and more to do with the fact that there was no court action until Friday. He and other reporters continued their live tweeting on Friday when the case resumed with Qualcomm presenting their case. He posted his summary of what was presented yesterday on his blog today.

    In the long run it will not matter what Mr. Mueller or any other blogger says about this case, just like it does not matter what commenters say about football games being played. Both are there to help explain what is happening to the viewers and in general neither are always correct. While I do not always agree with Mr. Mueller I do find his explanations to often be well reasoned and he his pretty good at trying to show when he may be biased.

    The only people who’s opinion on this case that are going to matter will not be Mr. Mueller’s, his readers, his clients or his critics. Rather they will be Judge Koh, the US 9th Circuit Appeals Court and possibly the US Supreme Court.
    bb-15
  • Reply 6 of 6
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,589member
    mdavis said:
    gatorguy said:
    Have you noticed that Florian stopped reporting on the trial as soon as the FTC had made their case and it became QC's chance to answer and defend? He's already crowned the FTC as the victor. A dozen articles in just a few days explaining the FTC's arguments and now barely a mention of Qualcomm's. 
    I believe the reason why it appeared that Mr. Mueller stopped reporting after the FTC rested on Tuesday had less to do with him crowning a winner and more to do with the fact that there was no court action until Friday. He and other reporters continued their live tweeting on Friday when the case resumed with Qualcomm presenting their case. He posted his summary of what was presented yesterday on his blog today.

    In the long run it will not matter what Mr. Mueller or any other blogger says about this case, just like it does not matter what commenters say about football games being played. Both are there to help explain what is happening to the viewers and in general neither are always correct. While I do not always agree with Mr. Mueller I do find his explanations to often be well reasoned and he his pretty good at trying to show when he may be biased.

    The only people who’s opinion on this case that are going to matter will not be Mr. Mueller’s, his readers, his clients or his critics. Rather they will be Judge Koh, the US 9th Circuit Appeals Court and possibly the US Supreme Court.
    Right you are sir. Thank you for a very grounded post. 
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