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Germany court rules against Apple for violating streaming patent

[JURIST] The Dusseldorf District Court [official website, in German] ruled on Wednesday that Apple products infringe upon video streaming patents belonging to the Kudeleski Group [official website], a Swiss security company. In 2014 Kudeleski filed [press release] three patent suits against Apple concerning various products including iOS mobile devices (iPhone, iPad, and iPod), Apple TV, App Store, and OS X-based personal computers. Apple currently faces [Reuters report] a fine of €250,000 per violation and will be subject to injunction once Kudeleski posts security. If Apple does not seek a licensing deal with Kudeleski, the company may be forced to disable the violating streaming services or pull their products from German stores. Though Apple has filed two nullity cases in a Munich court to invalidate the patents, the German district court stated that success is unlikely. An oral hearing for nullification may be held early in 2017. Apple also faces a similar patent case filed [complaint, PDF] by Kudeleski in the US, which is currently pending.

Earlier this month a judge for the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York denied a Department of Justice (DOJ) request to order Apple to disable the security of an iPhone that was seized during a drug investigation. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein has urged authorities [JURIST report] to understand that a ruling against Apple in the US would set precedent worldwide and make it "impossible for Apple or any other major IT company to safeguard their clients' privacy anywhere in the world." In February Apple filed [JURIST report] a brief in the US District Court for the Central District of California in opposition of the US government's request for the company to unlock the iPhone of San Bernardino shooter, Syed Rizwan Farook. Counsel for Apple called the case "unprecedented" after the DOJ filed [JURIST report] a motion to compel Apple to unlock the encrypted iPhone. In response to the legal conflict, Apple asked [JURIST report] the US government to create a panel of experts to discuss issues of security versus privacy. These developments came after Apple refused the initial court order to assist the government in unlocking the iPhone. The court order required [JURIST report] Apple to supply software to the FBI to disable a self-destruct feature that erases phone data after 10 failed attempts to enter the phone's password.

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