A German court on Tuesday threw out a patent lawsuit filed by Qualcomm against Apple.
The regional court in the city of Mannheim dismissed the Qualcomm suit as groundless in an initial verbal decision, saying the patent in question was not violated by the installation of its chips in Apple’s smartphones.
Interestingly, Apple’s defence was not that it hadn’t infringed the patent, but that the patent itself was invalid.
Qualcomm, said it would appeal.
Apple declined to comment on the Mannheim decision.
In December, the U.S. chipmaker had won a recent court ban on the sale of some iPhones in Germany. Apple is appealing this decision, and had announced plans to no longer stock the iPhone 7 and 8 at its 15 retail outlets in Germany. Today, all of Apple's models remain available through carriers and resellers.
Qualcomm has also secured a ban on the sale of some iPhones in China. Apple, which is also contesting that ruling, has continued to offer its iPhones in China but made changes to its iOS operating system following the order.
Qualcomm, also faces a U.S. antitrust case brought by the Federal Trade Commission which accuses it of abusing a monopoly on mobile chip technology in a trial that could have a major impact on the smartphone industry.
If the government prevails in the trial that began on Jan. 4, Qualcomm could be forced to change its practices for licensing a trove of patents to device makers like Apple.