New Apple countersuit targets Qualcomm's Snapdragon processors

Posted:
in iPhone
Further escalating the legal war between the two companies, Apple on Wednesday launched a U.S. countersuit against Qualcomm, charging that the latter's Snapdragon processors -- found in many Android phones -- are in violation of at least eight patents.

A phone with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 820, the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge.
A phone with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 820, the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge.


Apple initiated the action as a revised response to a Qualcomm suit, according to Reuters. In July, Qualcomm accused Apple of infringing several patents related to optimizing battery life. The Apple countersuit makes similar allegations, specifically saying that Qualcomm's Snapdragon 800 and 820 chips violate patents related to reducing power consumption through improved sleep/wake functions and shutting off parts of a processor when they're unnecessary.

"Apple began seeking those patents years before Qualcomm began seeking the patents it asserts against Apple in this case," company lawyers said in a filing with the U.S. District Court in San Diego. The iPhone maker is pursuing unspecified damages as compensation.

Apple and Qualcomm are engaged in a number of worldwide legal actions, which kicked off in January when Apple sued Qualcomm for almost $1 billion in royalty rebates, allegedly withheld as retaliation for cooperating with South Korean antitrust investigators. Qualcomm has suffered financially as a result of Apple ordering suppliers not to pay royalties, though Apple is at risk of losing Chinese iPhone sales and manufacturing.

Any issues could become moot if Qualcomm is successfully acquired by Broadcom. The former has so far resisted, but Broadcom is allegedly prepared for a hostile takeover and willing to spend well over $100 billion.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,551member
    Apple tend not to file patent infringement unless necessary.beyond reasons. Steve Jobs let slide many Apple patents violated by Microsoft Office and used against MS when he had to. After he returned back to Apple, he told Microsoft that you guys are walking all over many Apple patents in your office product so instead of settle in court lets work out. And he made Microsoft support MS Office on OSX for many years and Microsoft also invested over $100M in Apple in their need of finance. These counter law suit targets to the heart of Qualcomm's bread butter SOC. Qualcomm either backoff and work out with Apple or accept Broadcomm deal for buyout.
    patchythepirate
  • Reply 2 of 18
    dewmedewme Posts: 1,677member
    At some point the two companies will arrive at a settlement that involves a broad IP cross-licensing agreement. This is exactly why companies like Apple, Qualcomm, IBM, etc., stockpile huge numbers of patents on every subtle nuance of everything they can think of, whether or not they ever intend to build out products using the IP. Time to lay those chips on the table.
  • Reply 3 of 18
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    Hopefully every iPhone and iPad knockoff that uses these chips will pay a royalty to Apple. 
    stanthemanwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 18
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,387member
    wood1208 said:
    Apple tend not to file patent infringement unless necessary.beyond reasons. Steve Jobs let slide many Apple patents violated by Microsoft Office and used against MS when he had to. After he returned back to Apple, he told Microsoft that you guys are walking all over many Apple patents in your office product so instead of settle in court lets work out. And he made Microsoft support MS Office on OSX for many years and Microsoft also invested over $100M in Apple in their need of finance. These counter law suit targets to the heart of Qualcomm's bread butter SOC. Qualcomm either backoff and work out with Apple or accept Broadcomm deal for buyout.
    The use of intellectual property goes both ways. For many years (and likely even today), the two companies have had an agreement to allow the unfettered use of each other's IP.
    edited November 2017
  • Reply 5 of 18
    Is the rendering of the Galaxy S7 Edge accurate?  I assume that the images near the edge of the screen (e.g., the email icon) should be curved, right?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 18
    cali said:
    Hopefully every iPhone and iPad knockoff that uses these chips will pay a royalty to Apple. 
    1. No, Qualcomm would pay the royalty not Samsung et al.
    2. Were Apple to win this suit, everyone would simply switch to the (superior) Samsung Exynos chips instead. 
    3. Apple will not sue Samsung over the Exynos chips even if they do infringe because ... well look at every iPhone before the 5C, then look at the Samsung Galaxy line, now look at every iPhone since the iPhone 6. And yes, specifically comparing the Galaxy S7 to the iPhone X makes it even more blatant. Samsung would, you know, countersue based on trade dress and all that.

    So the result would be no more money to Apple (possibly less, see #3) and more money to Samsung (because of #2 and #3).
    edited November 2017
  • Reply 7 of 18
    3. Apple will not sue Samsung over the Exynos chips even if they do infringe because ... well look at every iPhone before the 5C, then look at the Samsung Galaxy line, now look at every iPhone since the iPhone 6. And yes, specifically comparing the Galaxy S7 to the iPhone X makes it even more blatant. Samsung would, you know, countersue based on trade dress and all that.

    So the result would be no more money to Apple (possibly less, see #3) and more money to Samsung (because of #2 and #3).
    LOL.  You must be joking.  The S7 has both a "chin" and a "forehead" (and no "notch") and a home button and square corners to the screen.  The X and S7 are only similar because they both have large screens.
    edited November 2017 jbdragonstanthemanh2pnetmagejony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 18
    cali said:
    Hopefully every iPhone and iPad knockoff that uses these chips will pay a royalty to Apple. 
    1. No, Qualcomm would pay the royalty not Samsung et al.
    2. Were Apple to win this suit, everyone would simply switch to the (superior) Samsung Exynos chips instead. 
    3. Apple will not sue Samsung over the Exynos chips even if they do infringe because ... well look at every iPhone before the 5C, then look at the Samsung Galaxy line, now look at every iPhone since the iPhone 6. And yes, specifically comparing the Galaxy S7 to the iPhone X makes it even more blatant. Samsung would, you know, countersue based on trade dress and all that.

    So the result would be no more money to Apple (possibly less, see #3) and more money to Samsung (because of #2 and #3).
    This is just silly. 
    jbdragonstanthemanradarthekatiqatedojony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 18
    dachardachar Posts: 330member
    Qualcomm seem to have not considered that there may be all sorts of unforeseen consequences to taking on such a powerful company as Apple. They now seem to be caught in a pincer movement between Apple and Broadcom. Not saying this is coordinated, simply that it is one unforeseen effect. Qualcomm are possibly going to throw everything they can think of at Apple in a last desperate attempt to get the upper hand. Probably this will not work, the share price will drop further, and Broadcom will snap them up. 
    edited November 2017 lito_lupenawatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 18
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,751member
    cali said:
    Hopefully every iPhone and iPad knockoff that uses these chips will pay a royalty to Apple. 
    1. No, Qualcomm would pay the royalty not Samsung et al.
    2. Were Apple to win this suit, everyone would simply switch to the (superior) Samsung Exynos chips instead. 
    3. Apple will not sue Samsung over the Exynos chips even if they do infringe because ... well look at every iPhone before the 5C, then look at the Samsung Galaxy line, now look at every iPhone since the iPhone 6. And yes, specifically comparing the Galaxy S7 to the iPhone X makes it even more blatant. Samsung would, you know, countersue based on trade dress and all that.

    So the result would be no more money to Apple (possibly less, see #3) and more money to Samsung (because of #2 and #3).
    Man, you have no clue huh.
    radarthekatjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 18
    wood1208 said:
    Apple tend not to file patent infringement unless necessary.beyond reasons. Steve Jobs let slide many Apple patents violated by Microsoft Office and used against MS when he had to. After he returned back to Apple, he told Microsoft that you guys are walking all over many Apple patents in your office product so instead of settle in court lets work out. And he made Microsoft support MS Office on OSX for many years and Microsoft also invested over $100M in Apple in their need of finance. These counter law suit targets to the heart of Qualcomm's bread butter SOC. Qualcomm either backoff and work out with Apple or accept Broadcomm deal for buyout.
    Apple does not own all patents and it actually pays for ARM mobile patents to SoftBank that owns them. So they have to be careful as well. Not all innovation belongs to Apple.
  • Reply 12 of 18
    Apple can buy softbank if they have to, hahaha
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 18
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 2,568moderator
    though Apple is at risk of losing Chinese iPhone sales and manufacturing.”

    How on earth is Apple at risk of losing Chinese iPhone sales and manufacturing?  If Qualcomm succeeds in their bid to halt Apole’s Sales and manufacturing in China, or if Apple even thinks an adverse judgement is forthcoming in that bid, Apple would simply go back to paying Qualcomm royalties versus holding them back.  Problem solved, no risk at all of a halt.  Suggesting Apple is at risk implies Apple would not have that remedy available to them. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 18
    ksecksec Posts: 1,497member
    Colour me surprise, just when Broadcom were about to revise the bid for Qualcomm. Let see how the market react, ( Likely someone wants to use this as an excuse to drive down Qualcomm Stock price )

    Then Qualcomm's Board will have a lot to answer and thinking to do. 
  • Reply 15 of 18
    ksecksec Posts: 1,497member
    wood1208 said:
    Apple tend not to file patent infringement unless necessary.beyond reasons. Steve Jobs let slide many Apple patents violated by Microsoft Office and used against MS when he had to. After he returned back to Apple, he told Microsoft that you guys are walking all over many Apple patents in your office product so instead of settle in court lets work out. And he made Microsoft support MS Office on OSX for many years and Microsoft also invested over $100M in Apple in their need of finance. These counter law suit targets to the heart of Qualcomm's bread butter SOC. Qualcomm either backoff and work out with Apple or accept Broadcomm deal for buyout.
    Apple does not own all patents and it actually pays for ARM mobile patents to SoftBank that owns them. So they have to be careful as well. Not all innovation belongs to Apple.
    Are you suggesting ARM will sue Apple when they have to? Apple dont paid ARM for Mobile Patents, they paid ARM for using ARM ISA and any patents that may come with it. Which is what the uArch license is all about. ( Hence that is why I think Apple already has all the GPU patents cross licensed with ARM as well )
  • Reply 16 of 18
    3. Apple will not sue Samsung over the Exynos chips even if they do infringe because ... well look at every iPhone before the 5C, then look at the Samsung Galaxy line, now look at every iPhone since the iPhone 6. And yes, specifically comparing the Galaxy S7 to the iPhone X makes it even more blatant. Samsung would, you know, countersue based on trade dress and all that.

    So the result would be no more money to Apple (possibly less, see #3) and more money to Samsung (because of #2 and #3).
    LOL.  You must be joking.  The S7 has both a "chin" and a "forehead" (and no "notch") and a home button and square corners to the screen.  The X and S7 are only similar because they both have large screens.

    I’m not sure why cloudmobile is even talking about the iPhone 6. After the iPhone 6 came out in late-2014 and then the Samsung S6 came out in spring 2015 it was widely felt that Samsung’s S6 had been influenced by the iPhone 6—it even had the antenna lines that were criticised on the iPhone 6. The idea that the iPhone X is visually similar to the S7 is totally nutty. Cloudmobile must be joking?

    Even if Qualcomm wins this feud (which I think is unlikely) Apple will probably take subtle action in other ways, like they have with Samsung. Samsung has probably lost more money with Apple seeking business elsewhere than if they had simply paid Apple licensing fees instead of deceitful fighting in court over blatantly obvious copying (even down to the packaging!). Apple can continue to seek business from Intel and Qualcomm will eventually lose hundreds of millions of chip sales over the course of years.

    But if it’s important to Qualcomm to feel like they aren’t ruled by anyone and they’re willing to risk the consequences of this fight, then so be it.
  • Reply 17 of 18
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,257member
    georgie01 said:
    3. Apple will not sue Samsung over the Exynos chips even if they do infringe because ... well look at every iPhone before the 5C, then look at the Samsung Galaxy line, now look at every iPhone since the iPhone 6. And yes, specifically comparing the Galaxy S7 to the iPhone X makes it even more blatant. Samsung would, you know, countersue based on trade dress and all that.

    So the result would be no more money to Apple (possibly less, see #3) and more money to Samsung (because of #2 and #3).
    LOL.  You must be joking.  The S7 has both a "chin" and a "forehead" (and no "notch") and a home button and square corners to the screen.  The X and S7 are only similar because they both have large screens.

    I’m not sure why cloudmobile is even talking about the iPhone 6. After the iPhone 6 came out in late-2014 and then the Samsung S6 came out in spring 2015 it was widely felt that Samsung’s S6 had been influenced by the iPhone 6—it even had the antenna lines that were criticised on the iPhone 6. The idea that the iPhone X is visually similar to the S7 is totally nutty. Cloudmobile must be joking?

    Even if Qualcomm wins this feud (which I think is unlikely) Apple will probably take subtle action in other ways, like they have with Samsung. Samsung has probably lost more money with Apple seeking business elsewhere than if they had simply paid Apple licensing fees instead of deceitful fighting in court over blatantly obvious copying (even down to the packaging!). Apple can continue to seek business from Intel and Qualcomm will eventually lose hundreds of millions of chip sales over the course of years.

    But if it’s important to Qualcomm to feel like they aren’t ruled by anyone and they’re willing to risk the consequences of this fight, then so be it.
    Qualcomm  has been toying with spinning off the chip side of the business and focusing only on licensing/engineering/development instead of hardware.
  • Reply 18 of 18
    xzuxzu Posts: 139member
    I just like to say "Snapdragon!"
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