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German court tosses four of eight Qualcomm patent suits against Apple

A Munich district court on Thursday rejected four out of eight local lawsuits brought against Apple by Qualcomm, granting the iPhone maker at least a temporary victory.

Siri and Spotlight search features don't infringe on the flagged Qualcomm patents in those cases, the court said in an announcement. The ruling isn't final however, and a decision has yet to be made on the four other suits, which also involve Siri and Spotlight.

Earlier this month a Mannheim judge tossed another case against Apple involving power management in transistors. Qualcomm is in the appeals process there and could make a similar move in Munich.

Apple is currently subject to a ban of the iPhone 7 and 8 in Germany, ordered in December in response to accusations that one of its suppliers, Qorvo, was violating an "envelope tracking" patent. Apple has reportedly been skirting the injunction by letting independent resellers continue — Qualcomm recently protested, calling for heavy fines as punishment.

The two businesses are engaged in a worldwide legal battle that kicked off in 2017 when Apple sued over nearly $1 billion in rebates it said were withheld as retaliation for cooperation with antitrust investigators. Private lawsuits are ongoing around the world and various government bodies have engaged in their own actions. A trial brought by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission against Qualcomm, with Apple's help, concluded earlier this week.