Patent troll wants $2 billion from Apple for use of emergency service chip


A patent troll in Germany is demanding that Apple give them over $2 billion dollars.

IPCom wants €1.57B ($2.12B) from Apple because IPCome owns the patent to an emergency standard that all phones, including the iPhone, are required by law to have.

The standard is a chip that allows emergency services to communicate in an area even when the mobile traffic is heavy. It is something that is especially vital in a crisis situation, but given the amount of people with mobile phones, it is also something that has become vital in an every day capacity as well.

The European Patent Office has turned down a joint request by Google, Ericsson, Vodafone, Apple and HTC, to declare the patent invalid, since it is a function that they are required to have. The reason the office turned it down is because IPCom has sued companies like Nokia before and won their case. So it isn’t looking too good for Apple, although we reckon Apple has better lawyers than Nokia.

[via 9to5Mac, The Wall Street Journal]

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  • Ashraf

    [@Mike S.] It is a patent troll by the definition of simply holding patents and making money by licensing and/or suing instead of actually making tech with those patents. That is quite literally what patent trolling is.

    Plus, the big issue here is, the law requires phones to have the chip in it. Why should Apple — or anyone — pay this company billions of dollars to use tech required by law? Sounds to me like a FRAND case but I believe FRAND doesn’t cover tech required by law — only tech required by standards.

  • Benji Dial

    [@Mike S.] All phones are required by law to have the chip in them.

  • Mike S.

    And so, Jeff, why do you call IPCom a “patent troll”–are there other facts as to that, not in the article? And would Apple be a patent troll as well, then, as it tries to get and sometimes gets patents on basic smartphone operations or designs, which others consider to be “normal” operations and design long in the public domain, Apple presumably doing so to try to stop others from using those operations and designs?

    In the end, an inventor presumably created the technology that IPCom now owns and got a patent on it, just like Apple does with technology that it presumably creates, and IPCom now is enforcing those patent rights (which perhaps the inventor sold to it, to try to make money off of his/her invention). Where does the pejorative idea of a troll come in?