You win some, you lose some. Apple has been both on the giving as well as the receiving end of patent infringement lawsuits. And it doesn’t always win those. In Germany, the Dusseldorf District Court ruled that Apple infringed on patents held by Swiss company Kudelski and its OpenTV unit. These patents relate to video streaming technologies and, as such, Apple is being ordered not to use such software in its devices sold in Germany, including iPhones, iPads, and the Apple TV.
OpenTV may now no longer be a popular name but its credited to be one of the earliest players in the video streaming market. In 2010, it was acquired by the Kudelski Group, establishing the latter as a key player in that market as well. Then in 2014, Kudelski sued Apple for infringing on OpenTVs patents. In fact, it sued Apple in two jurisdictions, one in Germany and the other in the US just last year.
Video streaming has become part and parcel of the digital life and it isn’t yet clear how this will affect Apple’s software platforms. So far, the company has remained silent on the ruling though we expect an appeal to be filed eventually. In the US, OpenTV has licensed its patents to the likes of Cisco and Google, enabling those to use its video streaming technologies in relative peace.
The case in the US is still ongoing, however, and the ruling in Germany could very well affect the US side of the litigation. It isn’t clear yet which of Apple’s services will be affected should the court also rule in favor of OpenTV.