Apple Challenges Four Qualcomm Patents in Ongoing Legal Battle

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Apple today filed petitions with the United States Patent and Trademark Office challenging the validity of four Qualcomm patents amid an increasingly vicious legal battle, reports Bloomberg. Apple is aiming to get the USPTO to cancel the four Qualcomm patents, arguing that they do not cover new ideas.

The patents in question cover camera autofocusing, a device that functions as a phone and a digital assistant, touch-sensitive displays, and circuit memory.


Challenging patent validity is one of Apple's typical strategies in its legal battles. According to Bloomberg, Apple has filed a total of 398 such petitions with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

For the Qualcomm filing, a trio of judges will consider the petition along with responses from Qualcomm, and will issue a preliminary decision on whether Apple's argument has merit. If Apple has a chance of getting the patents declared invalid, the USPTO will conduct a formal review before issuing a final judgement on the matter.

Apple and Qualcomm have been embroiled in a legal battle since the beginning of 2017, with the dispute centered on how much Apple should have to pay Qualcomm in royalties. Apple claims Qualcomm has been charging unfair royalties for "technologies [it] has nothing to do with," while Qualcomm claims its technology "is at the heart of every iPhone." Apple has used Qualcomm LTE chips in its devices for years, but has been moving away from Qualcomm's technology due to the legal fight.

Both Apple and Qualcomm have filed multiple lawsuits against one another, with Qualcomm also seeking import and export bans on some iPhones in the United States and China.

Apple iTunes chief Eddy Cue and Apple CEO Tim Cook will testify on June 27 as part of Qualcomm's initial lawsuit against Apple, which accuses the Cupertino company of lying to regulators to cause trouble for Qualcomm in multiple countries.

Last week, the United States International Trade Commission began investigating whether Apple infringed on three Qualcomm patents related to power management, radio voltage, and graphics processing. A pre-trial report from the ITC's lawyers suggested Apple infringed on the power management patent, but not the other two patents. A ruling on the ITC case, which has the potential to lead to an iPhone import ban, is expected in September.

Article Link: Apple Challenges Four Qualcomm Patents in Ongoing Legal Battle
 

macbeta

macrumors regular
Nov 13, 2009
136
287
This is what happens when endless amounts of things that should never have been allowed to be patented, get filed away. They will settle, I wish they wouldn't though, more battles need to actually go to court so sort out some of these weak and frankly stupid patents.
 

Doctor Q

Administrator
Staff member
Sep 19, 2002
38,211
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Suppose Apple is working on a new product feature, and they find that a relevant patents exist.

They could (a) pay for a license, (b) challenge the patent's validity, (c) ignore the patent, then pay for a license if the patent holder files for infringement, or (d) ignore the patent, then fight it in court if the patent holder files for infringement.

Which do they tend to do? What does it depend on?

We hear about these cases when they reach court, but I'm curious what happens before that.
 

cmaier

macrumors P6
Jul 25, 2007
18,957
18,052
California
Suppose Apple is working on a new product feature, and they find that a relevant patents exist.

They could (a) pay for a license, (b) challenge the patent's validity, (c) ignore the patent, then pay for a license if the patent holder files for infringement, or (d) ignore the patent, then fight it in court if the patent holder files for infringement.

Which do they tend to do? What does it depend on?

We hear about these cases when they reach court, but I'm curious what happens before that.
You forgot (e) ignore the patent and be enjoined by the court from selling the product anymore.

If they know about the patent and that they infringe and ignore it, they could have to pay triple damages.

Instead of a royalty, they may have to pay lost profits.

Also, it’s rare that a company knows about the patent. Engineers don’t go checking to see if everything they are doing is patented.
 

cmaier

macrumors P6
Jul 25, 2007
18,957
18,052
California
Is this...

the reason for this?...
Yes. There is seldom any benefit to looking ahead of time to see if there are patents. Even if you think there are none that are relevant, someone sill sue you anyway. And now you have knowledge of the patent. Unless you get a formal legal opinion for each potentially relevant patent. Then you might be able to rely on good faith. But opinions are very expensive and there could be many potentially relevant patents.
[doublepost=1529623248][/doublepost]
Most patent cases are filed with the 5th circuit court.... I wonder if that's where they are trying this case....
I think you mean EDTex (which is part of the fifth circuit). But it’s not true that most cases are filed there. Just most troll cases, and the number has fallen a lot due to recent Supreme Court decisions.

I believe most of the Qualcomm Apple dispute is being tried in California, which is ninth circuit.
 

cmaier

macrumors P6
Jul 25, 2007
18,957
18,052
California
The lawyers work for Apple and are on a payroll.
False. They use outside counsel. The in house counsel at Apple manage document productions and coordinate, but they use big law firms for every patent case.
[doublepost=1529623846][/doublepost]
False. They use outside counsel. The in house counsel at Apple manage document productions and coordinate, but they use big law firms for every patent case.
Just checked. They are using fish and Richardson, for example, for the IPRs discussed in this thread.
 

crescentmoon

macrumors regular
Feb 22, 2016
117
118
Denver
Yes. There is seldom any benefit to looking ahead of time to see if there are patents. Even if you think there are none that are relevant, someone sill sue you anyway. And now you have knowledge of the patent. Unless you get a formal legal opinion for each potentially relevant patent. Then you might be able to rely on good faith. But opinions are very expensive and there could be many potentially relevant patents.
[doublepost=1529623248][/doublepost]
I think you mean EDTex (which is part of the fifth circuit). But it’s not true that most cases are filed there. Just most troll cases, and the number has fallen a lot due to recent Supreme Court decisions.

I believe most of the Qualcomm Apple dispute is being tried in California, which is ninth circuit.
That is good news for Apple....
 

cmaier

macrumors P6
Jul 25, 2007
18,957
18,052
California
That’s it Apple, play the patent game to suit yourself only... bunch of hypocrites. I’m so glad that courts in other countries take little notice of Apple US patents in ridiculous cases like a black electronic device face with round corners....
What are you even talking about?

1) Apple won in multiple countries, not just here, against Samsung
2) Apple isn’t entitled to defend itself, just like Samsung did?
 

apolloa

Suspended
Oct 21, 2008
12,318
7,798
Time, because it rules EVERYTHING!
What are you even talking about?

1) Apple won in multiple countries, not just here, against Samsung
2) Apple isn’t entitled to defend itself, just like Samsung did?
No Apple did not actually, it only really won in the US. And this is not defending yourself, this is purely playing the pathetic excuse for a patent system the US has for its own personal gain, again.

Apple is dong the exact same thing it always does, just sues it’s suppliers to get cheaper rates, which it never passes onto the customer. The Ericsson case will go down as the perfect example of this.
 
Last edited:

pika2000

Suspended
Jun 22, 2007
5,587
4,896
Good or bad, this lawsuit is probably pushing intel into a better modem provider (at least before Apple can do it themselves).

At least Apple is big enough to try not being dependent on Qualcomm. Most other handset makers don’t have that luxury. Even Samsung still have to be stuck with Qualcomm for their US handsets.
 
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