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Apple, Siemens, Sisvel force booth shutdown at CeBIT

updated 03:00 pm EST, Sun March 7, 2010

Apple and others say exhibitor violated patents

Apple, Siemens and technology licensor Sisvel together were reported as having forced an exhibitor to shut down an exhibitor's booth at CeBIT. The three had the unnamed e-reader and netbook maker's floor space cleared out on Friday after they alleged that the company violated patents. Lawyers for Apple, Siemens and Sisvel are said to have visited the company's booth on Thursday and levied a 10,000 euro ($13,626) fine in advance of a raid the following day by German police.

Those attending the booth told SemiAccurate's Charlie Demerjian that the lawyers declined to outline which patents had been infringed or to provide evidence of the claimed violations. A representative thought to be an Apple lawyer was spotted discussing the issue with the anonymous company's staff but refused to either confirm or deny his position.

Other companies were also raided, one employee said.

While none of the involved accusers has confirmed the nature of the incident, such tactics have been common at CeBIT. Larger companies have regularly used legal notices at the expo to punish supposed patent infringers that normally wouldn't have an obvious presence on European soil.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. Mike Richardson

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2009

    +2

    WTF?

    How the h*** can company lawyers levy a fine? They have no authority to do so.

  1. Paul Huang

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 1999

    +2

    Ha! Copywriting 101

    having forced an exhibitor to shut down an exhibitor's booth

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    +3

    Yes

    The "They're violating our patents. Trust us. You don't need to see proof, or even know we're in the process of suing them. Just shut them down!" business model.

    And why is the German police 'raiding' exhibitor spaces? Are they now the bouncers for CeBit? Or the patent police?

  1. gentooq

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2008

    +1

    instead of semi, how about CNN?

    for accurate reporting . . . http://news.cnet.com/8301-10784_3-9887955-7.html

    It's a fairly cogent explanation of what happened, and WHY it was possible in Germany as opposed to the US.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    +2

    Re: how about CNN

    CNN would be nice. Too bad your link was to cnet.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    +2

    Re: instead of semi

    It's a fairly cogent explanation of what happened, and WHY it was possible in Germany as opposed to the US.

    Actually, that link had NO information about why it was possible in Germany.

    Apparently in Germany you can just file criminal complaints and have the police come in and shut them down, with nary a concern over actual infringement.

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