Qualcomm legal strategy backfires, Apple handed win in patent trial early motions

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in General Discussion
Qualcomm has been accused of performing a "tactical" error in its ongoing patent fight against Apple, with a magistrate judge highlighting the chip producer's mistake in not making counterclaims, an error that it Qualcomm failed to correct in pre-trial motions.




Pre-trial activities in Apple and Qualcomm's patent lawsuits have led to an interesting slip by Qualcomm's legal team. According to FOSS Patents, Qualcomm failed to add an important part to its motion that it tried to correct at a later time.

A ruling on September 4 notes Apple motioned in July to strike portions of 12 expert reports supplied by Qualcomm, claiming the experts "improperly opined" on infringement, as well as attacking nine more Qualcomm patents in the suit. This is on top of the original complaint that requested declaratory judgment on invalidity and non-infringement of nine patents.

At the time, Qualcomm's response to Apple's motion unexpectedly declined to bring compulsory infringement counterclaims, an element that is typically brought up in such maneuvers, and effectively limiting what its experts could say during the trial.

Later, Qualcomm's legal team had a change of heart, and attempted to object to Apple's striking motion so that the jury would hear the full opinions of its experts, but Apple motioned to strike this alteration. Apple's strike partially succeeded, with Qualcomm unable to use some of the testimony at trial unless it successfully appeals.

Other elements of the expert opinions are still being permitted, with Magistrate Judge Mitchell Dembin of the United States District Court of the Southern District of California advising the sections focussed on how "standard-essential" the patents are, and their value. How essential the patents are can relate to how severe the infringement can be.

In his ruling, Judge Dembin wrote about how the expert reports were inconsistent with Qualcomm's decision to not bring counterclaims against Apple, declaring "Qualcomm will be held accountable for the consequences of its tactical decisions."

"To the extent that Qualcomm claims they have disclosed in discovery their views regarding infringement and, consequently, there is no surprise and no prejudice, is unavailing," writes Dembin. "Rules are rules and tactical decisions have consequences."

The patent infringement suit is one of a number of legal battles Qualcomm is involved with relating to Apple and its intellectual property. In another related case, plaintiffs in a class action suit were denied a motion to prevent Qualcomm from obtaining a U.S. International Trade Commission exclusion order, one that would affect the import of iPhones with Intel modems.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    roakeroake Posts: 583member
    Pure slime.  Qualcomm bit the hand that fed it, now wants to keep their payday going through legal violence.  Is that a bankruptcy on the horizon?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 11
    roake said:
    Pure slime.  Qualcomm bit the hand that fed it, now wants to keep their payday going through legal violence.  Is that a bankruptcy on the horizon?
    It the world going to end tomorrow?  It takes a long time for a 100 billion dollar business to fade away.  The underlying IP is still valuable, it’s Qualcomm’s crazy licensing schemes that are questionable.
    canukstormmuthuk_vanalingamjbdragonols
  • Reply 3 of 11
    "How essential the patents are can relate to how severe the infringement can be."

    That's one way to look at it. Another would be that if the patents are absolutely essential to the standard, then the patent holder has to license them on fair terms. They can't abuse the patents, charge exorbitant fees or refuse to license them to certain companies. Everyone should get equal and fair access.
    ronnwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 11
    I’ll just wait for the final judgement, whenever that comes. Following every motion, opinion or paper shuffle in a legal case is a waste of compute cycles.
    edited September 7 jdgazLordeHawkJWSCwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 11
    I’ll just wait for the final judgement, whenever that comes. Following every motion, opinion or paper shuffle in a legal case is a waste of compute cycles.
    Couldn’t agree more. Moreover, I’d rather that QCOM got its butt kicked by Apple on substance rather than process. 
    SpamSandwichjbdragonJWSCwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 11
    tmaytmay Posts: 2,994member
    I’ll just wait for the final judgement, whenever that comes. Following every motion, opinion or paper shuffle in a legal case is a waste of compute cycles.
    Couldn’t agree more. Moreover, I’d rather that QCOM got its butt kicked by Apple on substance rather than process. 
    Florian has another post up which tackles the "substance";

    http://www.fosspatents.com/2018/09/apple-foxconn-et-al-want-to-end.html

    Apple, et al, want Qualcomm to stop the practice of "double dipping", ie, charging royalties to both the user, in this case Apple, and its assembly house, Foxconn. 
    SpamSandwichjbdragonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 11
    macguimacgui Posts: 848member
    Florian has another post up which tackles the "substance"

    Great. But at this juncture, is it why Qualcomm lost this round?

    If Apple owes the money, Apple needs to pay. Winning solely on technicalities or because of another's tactical missteps is winning only in terms of money, not right and wrong.

    For some people, money is the only thing that matters. I'd rather Apple wins because they were right, not just because they were clever or cleverer. 

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 11
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 1,059member
    And this is why I am not a lawyer...


    JWSC
  • Reply 9 of 11
    tmaytmay Posts: 2,994member
    macgui said:
    Florian has another post up which tackles the "substance"

    Great. But at this juncture, is it why Qualcomm lost this round?

    If Apple owes the money, Apple needs to pay. Winning solely on technicalities or because of another's tactical missteps is winning only in terms of money, not right and wrong.

    For some people, money is the only thing that matters. I'd rather Apple wins because they were right, not just because they were clever or cleverer. 

    Re-read the article above, carefully.
    docno42watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 11
    Double dipping has been around for a long time.
    It came up years ago during the time that SCO was fighting IBM over errno.h

    PJ on Groklaw.net wrote several articles (from memory) on it at the time. This was a long, long time before Apple even began designing the original iPhone.

    Personally, I think double dipping is wrong, very wrong.
    What if you went and bought a car and once you had bought it you were presented and extra bill because the car maker had put the engine into a higher priced car?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 11
    am8449am8449 Posts: 343member
    Good thing Apple has a giant war chest to fund these types of legal battles, and see them to the end. The "beleaguered" Apple of old would probably have to settle for practicality's sake.
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