back to article Siri, how do you wipe that smug smile from Qualcomm's face? Apple wins patent skirmish with chip nemesis

Apple has won a modest victory in its ongoing global legal war with Qualcomm: four of eight patent lawsuits lodged in Germany by Qualy against Apple were dismissed on Thursday. The Munich Regional Court ruled that Apple's Spotlight search function in iPhones and its Siri digital assistant did not infringe two Qualcomm European …

  1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Coat

    re: In short, it's a big, expensive mess

    not as big or as expensive as the mess we will get into with No Deal on 29th March.

    This one is a mere drop in the ocean.

    Coat as I'm off through the snow to get some Milk. There is a cat rubbing my legs that it telling me that it needs some which is far more important than an Apple/QC patent suit.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: re: In short, it's a big, expensive mess

      Can I borrow your crowbar?

    2. Tigra 07 Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: re: In short, it's a big, expensive mess

      Did you just pick one random word from the article and attempt to link it to Brexit because that word is present?

      Coat icon is correct. Get that out of here. We have enough Brexit related news without creating more.

    3. Tom 38 Silver badge

      Re: re: In short, it's a big, expensive mess

      The vast majority of adult cats are lactose intolerant, so you may also want to get some kitty litter for mopping up the diarrhoea/vomit. Also describes your post.

  2. ratfox Silver badge
    Headmaster

    The theory is that each company has enough patents that it acts as a sort-of nuclear standoff, but in Apple and Qualcomm's case the "mutually assured destruction" scenario hasn't proved sufficient

    The problem with the "mutually assured destruction" theory is that for the standoff to be successful, each side must be able to inflict devastating damage on the other side without gaining much from it. However, even though we often joke that only the lawyers gain from these fights, most of the money that a company stands to lose is directly given to the other company, so it's (mostly) a zero-sum game.

    If each company think they can with $1 billion from the other in patent payments, then it's worth it to spend a few millions to the lawyers just in case you win your lawsuit and the other side loses theirs. The mutually assured destruction principle would work if, say, 90% of payments were swallowed in taxes and/or legal costs. Then each side would risk losing $1 billion in order to win at most $100 millions, and it would be an efficient deterrent.

    1. Spazturtle Silver badge

      Apple and Qualcomm employ lawyers on a salary, not on a case by case basis. So really their only costs are the court fees.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        This is not correct - companies do have lawyers on payroll who practice corporate law, but when it comes to these they hire expert counsel (in this case antitrust, patent). They would also pick lawyers according to the jurisdiction.

        You do not become a good lawyer fighting one company's cases, you'd go stale without the practice.

        It's like having a GP, and you got a heart condition. You'd ask your GP, it looks like you need surgery, you get a consultant cardiologist.

        It costs more, but you need the specialist.

    2. Tigra 07 Silver badge

      RE: ratfox

      ...Or they'd just demand 10 times as much to make it worthwhile?

    3. tooltalk

      ?? Well, the MAD principle doesn't apply here since Apple has nothing to hit back -- ie, Qualcomm is not in the consumer business. . Also, the legal cost is really negligible compared to what's at stake here.

  3. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    Looking at those patents I can only feel a bit sick. I hate these type of patents that try to patent either something that any half-decent designer can come up with in an afternoon, or cover plenty of prior art.

  4. Spanners Silver badge
    Happy

    Karma

    Apple has caused enough spurious court cases to really deserve everything they get done for in this,

  5. TVU Silver badge

    Re: re: In short, it's a big, expensive mess

    The only vomit in this entire comment thread so far is from virulent Brexit ultranationalists who would rather the UK have blue passports again and dispense entirely with the UK's entire car, aircraft, satellite and pharmaceutical industries (you know, the prosperous modern industries that actually employ people, make products and create wealth).

    1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Re: re: In short, it's a big, expensive mess

      It's just SNAFU again - I've given up being pro or anti any of these things - I just want the idiots on all sides to quit. Patents were a good idea and very effective once upon a time until everyone modified and "improved" them in a effort to get more money for themselves ... pretty much like Brexit I think. Patents these days are a disaster ... we all know it but they keep filing for more because they are profitable.

  6. bombastic bob Silver badge
    Trollface

    It's a "Sue War"

    a Sue War by Sue-ers. And it kinda stinks.

    (too many lawyers)

  7. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    patents belonged to SnapTrack, which was bought by Qualcomm in a $1bn deal in 2000.

    Sol, these patents are pretty much EOL and yet they are only just getting around to suing over them, despite having owned them for nearly 20 years. (note, owned, not created)

  8. Hans 1 Silver badge
    Holmes

    Hello, European Patent Office, anybody in today ?

    Can somebody please inform the European Patent office that patent EP2724461 is complete utter bullshit, as 1954 TR-1 constitutes prior art. Thanks!

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