ParkerVision files ITC complaint, patent lawsuit against Apple over RF technology

Posted:
in General Discussion edited December 2015
ParkerVision, an RF technologies research and development firm, this week filed a U.S. International Trade Commission complaint and accompanying lawsuit against Apple, Samsung, LG and Qualcomm for allegedly infringing upon certain wireless networking patents.


iFixit teardown of iPhone 6s cited in ParkerVision's lawsuit.


In both the ITC complaint and Florida District Court lawsuit, ParkerVision asserts wireless transceivers manufactured by Qualcomm and Samsung infringe upon four wireless networking patents. Apple, Samsung and LG all use an iteration of the alleged infringing Qualcomm chip in their mobile products, while Samsung faces further scrutiny for its in-house Shannon 928 RF silicon.

Specifically, ParkerVision is leveraging U.S. Patent Nos. 6,879,817, 7,929,638, 8,571,135 and 9,118,528, each dealing with radio frequency technology and its implementation in hardware solutions. The Florida-based firm is engaged in a separate lawsuit involving Qualcomm and Samsung over similar patents.

ParkerVision first locked horns with Qualcomm in 2011, but has little to show for its efforts. In 2013, a Florida jury found Qualcomm in infringement and awarded ParkerVision $173 million in damages, but the ruling was later overturned.

As for the most recent filings, the ITC complaint asks for an embargo on imports and sales of infringing products, while the lawsuit seeks as-yet-unspecified damages. For Apple, the list of named devices includes iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, iPad Air 2 and "many other products."

Founded in 1989, Florida-based ParkerVision is a publicly traded company specializing in wireless chip designs. While a handful of products are listed on its website, ParkerVision's main source of revenue has been and continues to be technology licensing, though that well is quickly running dry. To stay solvent, the company has turned to enforcing patents in court.

Things are looking bleak for ParkerVision, however, as a recent quarterly report showed only $5,500 in revenue on one service contract for the nine months ending in September. ParkerVision informed investors that cost reduction measures, layoffs, patent enforcement lawsuits, technology licenses and product sales will not cover operational expenses for 2015.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 2,596moderator
    With respect to Apple, this would be a matter of indirect infringement; Apple incorporating potentially infringing technology provided by another company, in this case Qualcomm and/or Samsung.  You can be certain that, as is standard practice, Apple's contracts with these suppliers requires them to FULLY indemnify Apple should the components they supplied be found to infringe another entity's IP. 

    But for sure the analysts will fail to report that fact, as it has not been reported here.
    ronnmacky the mackyredgeminipajbdragon
  • Reply 2 of 11
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,249member
    So Apple is listed because it buys chips from Qualcomm and Samsung?

    That's like Chevy suing me because I bought a Ford with infringing parts?  Really?  I hope Apple just gives them the middle-finger.  Stupid.

    This is just click-bait as far as I'm concerned.  Just another reason to use the "Apple" name to get those page-hits.
    SoliIanMC2ronnredgeminipa
  • Reply 3 of 11
    Looks like a Hail Mary lawsuit.
    Hopefully they shut it down quickly.
    jbdragon
  • Reply 4 of 11
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 2,596moderator
    sflocal said:
    So Apple is listed because it buys chips from Qualcomm and Samsung?

    That's like Chevy suing me because I bought a Ford with infringing parts?  Really?  I hope Apple just gives them the middle-finger.  Stupid.

    This is just click-bait as far as I'm concerned.  Just another reason to use the "Apple" name to get those page-hits.
    Well, they have the right to sue Apple, just as Apple had the right to sue Samsung over some of Apple's patents that were thought to be infringed by core Android.  You go after the end product where the infringement is expressed, then let the defendant go after its supplier for indemnification.  What's likely to transpire, should there actually be a real threat of injunction, is that Qualcomm would step in and offer to settle.  That would be cheaper than having to compensation Apple for lost sales.
    edited December 2015 IanMC2
  • Reply 5 of 11
    sflocal said:
    So Apple is listed because it buys chips from Qualcomm and Samsung?

    That's like Chevy suing me because I bought a Ford with infringing parts?  Really?  I hope Apple just gives them the middle-finger.  Stupid.

    This is just click-bait as far as I'm concerned.  Just another reason to use the "Apple" name to get those page-hits.
    I agree with the sentiment of your post but the analogy is way off.  In your analogy, you are the user of the final product.  Apple is a reseller.  Big difference.  A better analogy would be that Oedipus Electronics (fictional company nobody has ever heard of) is suing Ford because the Pioneer radio installed in the car uses a tuner that infringes on one of their parents.

    its laughable that they are asking for a sales injunction.  They'll never get it because the continued sale of the offending products (iPhones) do not take a business opportunity away from ParkerVision.  This disputed can be adequately resolved via the payment of a licensing fee.  All the talk of an injunction will accomplish is to scare some investors into selling their Apple shares.  Stupid investors.  It creates a good buying opportunity for the rest of us.
    radarthekatjbdragon
  • Reply 6 of 11
    i understand that they are suing apple and samsung for using the part- but if the case did not hold against qualcomm, how the heck it is going to hold against these guys? also noting that if apple and samsung were successfully sued, samsung would not pay.
  • Reply 7 of 11
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 2,596moderator
    We seem to be awash in good buying opportunities lately.  
    ibill
  • Reply 8 of 11
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,903member
    sflocal said:
    So Apple is listed because it buys chips from Qualcomm and Samsung?

    That's like Chevy suing me because I bought a Ford with infringing parts?  Really?  I hope Apple just gives them the middle-finger.  Stupid.

    This is just click-bait as far as I'm concerned.  Just another reason to use the "Apple" name to get those page-hits.
    Well, they have the right to sue Apple, just as Apple had the right to sue Samsung over some of Apple's patents that were thought to be infringed by core Android.  You go after the end product where the infringement is expressed, then let the defendant go after its supplier for indemnification.  What's likely to transpire, should there actually be a real threat of injunction, is that Qualcomm would step in and offer to settle.  That would be cheaper than having to compensation Apple for lost sales.
    Wrong Samsung infringed Apple on every level from the look and feel of the hardware to the software. Core Android didn't give kinetic scrolling or swipe to unlock...Samsung implemented to make theirs phone similar to iPhone. If Android was the only infringement, every android hardware maker would've been sued.
    redgeminipajbdragon
  • Reply 9 of 11
    With respect to Apple, this would be a matter of indirect infringement; Apple incorporating potentially infringing technology provided by another company, in this case Qualcomm and/or Samsung.  You can be certain that, as is standard practice, Apple's contracts with these suppliers requires them to FULLY indemnify Apple should the components they supplied be found to infringe another entity's IP. 

    But for sure the analysts will fail to report that fact, as it has not been reported here.
    You and others have forgotten Samsung sued Apple for incorporating technology licensed to Intel. Every US court the battle was fought in sided with Samsung against Apple. Intel did not come to Apple's defense. The U.S. President had to veto an iPhone injunction at the last moment because the courts decided Apple should have gotten a license from Samsung to use the technology. So, when Apple is in the mix, courts will decide Apple is wrong. This case very well could have a negative impact on Apple only. 
  • Reply 10 of 11
    Does anyone know if this is the same Parkervision that developed software for the automation of Television news production, which they sold to Grass Valley, and it now called "Ignite?"

    (Ignite is used by hundreds of local TV stations to automate newscast production.)


  • Reply 11 of 11
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,963member
    fallenjt said:
    Well, they have the right to sue Apple, just as Apple had the right to sue Samsung over some of Apple's patents that were thought to be infringed by core Android.  You go after the end product where the infringement is expressed, then let the defendant go after its supplier for indemnification.  What's likely to transpire, should there actually be a real threat of injunction, is that Qualcomm would step in and offer to settle.  That would be cheaper than having to compensation Apple for lost sales.
    Wrong Samsung infringed Apple on every level from the look and feel of the hardware to the software. Core Android didn't give kinetic scrolling or swipe to unlock...Samsung implemented to make theirs phone similar to iPhone. If Android was the only infringement, every android hardware maker would've been sued.
    All Android devices had swipe to unlock, and kinetic scrolling. Apple just went after the biggest offender. 
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