Picture: 123RF/TOBIAS ARHELGER
Picture: 123RF/TOBIAS ARHELGER

Daimler risks a sales ban of its cars in Germany after losing its second patent case over mobile technology in three weeks, this time against Japan’s Sharp.

A court in Munich confirmed it granted an injunction to the electronics company. It’s similar to one granted to former cellphone giant Nokia.

Thursday’s ruling allows Sharp to ban sales of Daimler vehicles as the court found the carmaker used the mobile technology without a licence.

The suit is part of a broader fight between Daimler and several technology firms that are suing to force the German manufacturer take a licence from a pool of patent owners. Daimler instead insists that licences must be granted to its suppliers.

Daimler said it would appeal against the ruling and did not expect that production or sales would be stopped. Sharp retracted part of its suit after granting a licence to a supplier, showing that the model Daimler favoured was workable, the company said.

Nokia, which joined forces with Sharp in the dispute, won an injunction in Mannheim on August 18, but hasn’t enforced it yet. The tribunal in that case ruled that Nokia can only go ahead with the ban if it posts collateral of €7bn.

On Thursday, the Munich judges were less strict and imposed collateral of only €5.5m, making it much easier to enforce the judgment.

Under German law, if a ruling is on appeal, it can only be enforced if the winner posts collateral. That money is a security deposit the other party can use to cover its losses in case it ultimately wins an appeal.

Bloomberg

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