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Qualcomm wins Apple case, could lead to iPhone ban in Germany: court

A German court on Thursday found in favour of US chipmaker Qualcomm in a patent dispute case against Apple, which could lead to a ban on sales of some iPhones in Germany.

Qualcomm wins Apple case, could lead to iPhone ban in Germany: court
An iPhone on a table. Photo: DPA

According to the court's ruling, the company would technically be allowed to halt iPhone sales in models that were determined to violate the patent rights.

“The ruling effectively outlaws the offering and placing on the market of the finished product in Germany, including the sale. The iPhones 7plus, 7, 8, 8plus and X are affected,” said the regional court in Munich in a statement.

Given that Apple can appeal the initial ruling, the court said the injunction banning sales of affected iPhones can only be imposed immediately if Qualcomm laid down a security deposit amounting to €668.4 million.

The court said it had sought the large sum as that could be the amount awarded to Apple in terms of revenue losses if the iPhone maker manages to get the Munich ruling overturned by a higher court.

Thursday's ruling marks a second major win for Qualcomm in a month after a court in China on December 10th ordered a prohibition on iPhone sales over a separate patent dispute there.

The two Californian tech giants have been locked in a long-running battle over patents and royalties that has played out in courts and administrative bodies worldwide.

At the heart of the dispute in the German case are chips made by one of Apple's suppliers used in iPhones, with both parties at loggerheads on how the chips actually function, said the court.

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COURT

Why an ‘old’ man is taking on German nightclubs’ door policies in court

Bouncers at German nightclubs are legendary for their reluctance to let too many people through the door. A Munich man is now taking one club to court for turning him away based on his age.

Why an ‘old’ man is taking on German nightclubs' door policies in court
Inside a night club in Berlin. Photo: DPA

In a case that could have an impact on clubs up and down the country, 47-year-old Nils Kratzer is challenging a nightclub’s door policy in the Federal Court in Karlsruhe on Thursday, arguing that a bouncer’s decision to turn him away at the door was discriminatory.

The incident occurred when Kratzer tried to get into an open air club night on the Praterinsel, a small island on the river Isar in Munich in 2017.

“I’ve never had anyone tell me to my face that I’m too old for a festival,” Kratzer said before the hearing. “On the contrary, I’ve often gone to festivals nationwide with my friends in the past and all ages have been represented.”

READ ALSO: ‘Alone Together’: How I had an unexpected night out at a German online bar

The club makes no bones about the fact that it told its bouncers to discriminate at the door, but argues that this was based on “optics” and not on age. It argues that, given that there was only space for 1,500 guests, it needed to discriminate on some grounds.

If Kratzer were to win the case, which he is basing on anti-discrimination laws introduced in 2006, it would force all German night clubs to review their door policies, as a ruling by a federal court sets a legal precedent.

But Kratzer has already failed to convince a Munich city court and a Bavarian state court of his case. At the Munich city court, he called his younger girlfriend to testify in order to establish his youthfulness.

Nils Kratzer. Photo: DPA

He also complained that Munich clubs have a culture of discrimination at their doors, saying one had turned him away for being a man, while he had also witnessed people being turned away based on their skin colour.

“Not all unequal treatment is discrimination,” argues Sandra Warden from the German Hotel and Restaurant Association. “Event organisers are free to decide whom they let in. The host’s right to decide is protected in our country.”

Warden said that clubs often discriminate based on age, such as at Ü-30 parties, ones where only people over the age of 30 are allowed to enter.

READ ALSO: German court declares techno to be music

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