Former Apple engineer contributed 'nothing at all' to Qualcomm patent-in-suit, Qualcomm sa...

Posted:
in General Discussion edited March 5
Apple in court proceedings on Tuesday argued a former engineer should be credited on a Qualcomm patent being asserted against the tech giant, claims the chipmaker refutes.


Apple's iPhone 4 for Verizon was the first to incorporate a Qualcomm baseband chip.


Day two of Qualcomm's patent trial against Apple involved testimony surrounding a single patent relating to fast boot-up technology in smartphone systems, reports CNET.

Echoing claims aired during Monday's opening remarks, Apple says former engineer Arjuna Siva first proposed the idea for U.S. Patent No. 8,838,949 to Qualcomm counterparts prior to 2011. At the time, Apple and Qualcomm, were forging ahead with plans to incorporate the chipmaker's modem technology in iPhone. The project was so secretive that the companies assumed aliases in correspondence, with Apple identified as "Maverick" and Qualcomm as "Eureka," the report said.

Entitled "Direct scatter loading of executable software image from a primary processor to one or more secondary processor in a multi-processor system," the '949 patent details methods by which a secondary processor such as a wireless modem can quickly boot without its own system image on dedicated non-volatile memory. Along with quicker connectivity on startup, the innovation allowed for more efficient use of system memory allotments, cutting down on internal space requirements and build costs.

According to Apple, Siva floated the idea in an email to Qualcomm engineers, who, as Apple counsel Juanita Brooks said on Monday, "[T]ook the idea from us and ran down to the patent office." Qualcomm disagrees with that recounting of events.

Qualcomm director of engineering Stephen Haenichen on Monday said that Siva did not deserve credit for the invention. Haenichen, who is named as an inventor on the '949 patent, claims Siva did "nothing at all" to contribute to the property, adding that Qualcomm delivered on a tall order to build modem technology on short notice.

"It was clear this was going to change the way we build modems," Haenichen said. "It was going to be meaningful to Qualcomm."

Siva, who now works at Google, is scheduled to testify at a later date.

The San Diego case kicked off on Monday and is the first action in the long-running Qualcomm and Apple struggle to involve a U.S. jury. Apple sparked what would become a global conflict by suing Qualcomm in 2017 over alleged monopolistic licensing practices, allegations similar to those levied in a U.S. Federal Trade Commission antitrust action that wrapped up last month.

The two companies have filed multiple lawsuits, countersuits and complaints with governmental agencies around the world since the 2017 action.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 15
    Did anyone expect Qualcomm to say, "Oh, hey! That's right. Totally forgot about that. Nevermind this lawsuit!"?

    Serious question, does this even make a difference that Siva supposedly offered the idea? Qualcomm has the patent, not Apple so it seem, at least in regard to that idea, that Qualcomm has the advantage.
    muthuk_vanalingambeowulfschmidtMplsPwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 2 of 15
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 967member
    Did anyone expect Qualcomm to say, "Oh, hey! That's right. Totally forgot about that. Nevermind this lawsuit!"?

    Serious question, does this even make a difference that Siva supposedly offered the idea? Qualcomm has the patent, not Apple so it seem, at least in regard to that idea, that Qualcomm has the advantage.
    I’m not totally clear on patents but if they are anything like copyrights such input would mean  if they can prove the idea came from an Apple engineer but their names was erroneously excluded from the patent application, Qualcomm can sue Apple since they are part owner. 

  • Reply 3 of 15
    Did anyone expect Qualcomm to say, "Oh, hey! That's right. Totally forgot about that. Nevermind this lawsuit!"?

    Serious question, does this even make a difference that Siva supposedly offered the idea? Qualcomm has the patent, not Apple so it seem, at least in regard to that idea, that Qualcomm has the advantage.
    Based on extensive legal research (a 10 second Google search):

    At least in the US, part of filing a patent application involves an oath/declaration, which includes a provision such as:

    I hereby declare that: [...] I believe the inventor(s) named below to be the original and first inventor(s) of the subject matter which is claimed and for which a patent is sought on the invention titled: 

    Filing a claim with a false oath (i.e., knowing that the original and first inventor was not listed) would invalidate his application and could be subject to prosecution.

    ericthehalfbeeericthehalfbeeSpamSandwichmwhiteberndogMplsPStrangeDayswatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 4 of 15
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,599member
    It sounds like Siva told Stephen about the idea, Stephen told Siva it was bad idea, but turned around and decided to patent it himself. If that happen there is no way Siva might have known that happen. Stephen did not have to tell Siva he was issued the patent.

    I do not think about would make this claim and call Siva as witness if it did not happen this way. Notice Stephen did not say when he had the idea and it predated Apple's email.
    muthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 15
    genovelle said:
    Did anyone expect Qualcomm to say, "Oh, hey! That's right. Totally forgot about that. Nevermind this lawsuit!"?

    Serious question, does this even make a difference that Siva supposedly offered the idea? Qualcomm has the patent, not Apple so it seem, at least in regard to that idea, that Qualcomm has the advantage.
    I’m not totally clear on patents but if they are anything like copyrights such input would mean  if they can prove the idea came from an Apple engineer but their names was erroneously excluded from the patent application, Qualcomm can sue Apple since they are part owner. 

    I don’t believe you can patent an idea. Otherwise virtually everyone could claim patent rights. You have to be able to implement your idea.
  • Reply 6 of 15
    65026502 Posts: 255member
    genovelle said:
    Did anyone expect Qualcomm to say, "Oh, hey! That's right. Totally forgot about that. Nevermind this lawsuit!"?

    Serious question, does this even make a difference that Siva supposedly offered the idea? Qualcomm has the patent, not Apple so it seem, at least in regard to that idea, that Qualcomm has the advantage.
    I’m not totally clear on patents but if they are anything like copyrights such input would mean  if they can prove the idea came from an Apple engineer but their names was erroneously excluded from the patent application, Qualcomm can sue Apple since they are part owner. 

    I don’t believe you can patent an idea. Otherwise virtually everyone could claim patent rights. You have to be able to implement your idea.
    You can patent an idea, but it must be a patentable subject (i.e. not a perpetual motion machine), novel, non-obvious and useful. There are many prophetic patents out there (I have 1 or 2 myself). Most denied patents got denied due to prior art, i.e. someone released that info into the public domain and the examiner found it. If you talk about a novel idea, say at a conference, you have 1 year from that date to submit a patent application on it. After that, it is in the public domain and no one can patent it. Sometimes companies release something inventive into the public domain because they didn't want to make the effort to patent it but they didn't want anyone else to patent it either and block their freedom to operate (FTO). You can also challenge a granted patent if you can find prior art that predated it.
  • Reply 7 of 15
    knowitallknowitall Posts: 1,368member
    Its clear I think computer technology and its companies are no fun any more.
    Its more like asshole territory, not someting I want to work for anymore.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 15
    knowitallknowitall Posts: 1,368member
    genovelle said:
    Did anyone expect Qualcomm to say, "Oh, hey! That's right. Totally forgot about that. Nevermind this lawsuit!"?

    Serious question, does this even make a difference that Siva supposedly offered the idea? Qualcomm has the patent, not Apple so it seem, at least in regard to that idea, that Qualcomm has the advantage.
    I’m not totally clear on patents but if they are anything like copyrights such input would mean  if they can prove the idea came from an Apple engineer but their names was erroneously excluded from the patent application, Qualcomm can sue Apple since they are part owner. 

    I don’t believe you can patent an idea. Otherwise virtually everyone could claim patent rights. You have to be able to implement your idea.
    Not so hélas, but it should be as you state it.
  • Reply 9 of 15
    genovelle said:
    Did anyone expect Qualcomm to say, "Oh, hey! That's right. Totally forgot about that. Nevermind this lawsuit!"?

    Serious question, does this even make a difference that Siva supposedly offered the idea? Qualcomm has the patent, not Apple so it seem, at least in regard to that idea, that Qualcomm has the advantage.
    I’m not totally clear on patents but if they are anything like copyrights such input would mean  if they can prove the idea came from an Apple engineer but their names was erroneously excluded from the patent application, Qualcomm can sue Apple since they are part owner. 

    I don’t believe you can patent an idea. Otherwise virtually everyone could claim patent rights. You have to be able to implement your idea.
    That's my understanding as well.  You can patent an implementation, but not an idea.  Siva simply expressing an idea is not "prior art", since there was no implementation.

    IANAL.
  • Reply 10 of 15
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 1,452member
    “We didn’t steal nutttin’! And besides, what we stole wasn’t worth nuttin’ anyway!”
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 15
    carnegiecarnegie Posts: 726member
    genovelle said:
    Did anyone expect Qualcomm to say, "Oh, hey! That's right. Totally forgot about that. Nevermind this lawsuit!"?

    Serious question, does this even make a difference that Siva supposedly offered the idea? Qualcomm has the patent, not Apple so it seem, at least in regard to that idea, that Qualcomm has the advantage.
    I’m not totally clear on patents but if they are anything like copyrights such input would mean  if they can prove the idea came from an Apple engineer but their names was erroneously excluded from the patent application, Qualcomm can sue Apple since they are part owner. 

    I don’t believe you can patent an idea. Otherwise virtually everyone could claim patent rights. You have to be able to implement your idea.
    genovelle said:
    Did anyone expect Qualcomm to say, "Oh, hey! That's right. Totally forgot about that. Nevermind this lawsuit!"?

    Serious question, does this even make a difference that Siva supposedly offered the idea? Qualcomm has the patent, not Apple so it seem, at least in regard to that idea, that Qualcomm has the advantage.
    I’m not totally clear on patents but if they are anything like copyrights such input would mean  if they can prove the idea came from an Apple engineer but their names was erroneously excluded from the patent application, Qualcomm can sue Apple since they are part owner. 

    I don’t believe you can patent an idea. Otherwise virtually everyone could claim patent rights. You have to be able to implement your idea.
    That's my understanding as well.  You can patent an implementation, but not an idea.  Siva simply expressing an idea is not "prior art", since there was no implementation.

    IANAL.
    It depends on what we mean by idea. No, you can't patent the simple idea: A car that can fly to the moon. But you wouldn't have to actually build such a car in order to be able to patent it.

    The requirement, simply put, is this: You have to describe the invention in such a way that someone of ordinary skill in the relevant art could, based on your description, make and use it. How close a bare idea comes to fulfilling that requirement would depend on the nature of the invention. Sometimes a lot of explanation about implementation would be needed, sometimes it wouldn't. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 15
    65026502 Posts: 255member
    genovelle said:
    Did anyone expect Qualcomm to say, "Oh, hey! That's right. Totally forgot about that. Nevermind this lawsuit!"?

    Serious question, does this even make a difference that Siva supposedly offered the idea? Qualcomm has the patent, not Apple so it seem, at least in regard to that idea, that Qualcomm has the advantage.
    I’m not totally clear on patents but if they are anything like copyrights such input would mean  if they can prove the idea came from an Apple engineer but their names was erroneously excluded from the patent application, Qualcomm can sue Apple since they are part owner. 

    I don’t believe you can patent an idea. Otherwise virtually everyone could claim patent rights. You have to be able to implement your idea.
    That's my understanding as well.  You can patent an implementation, but not an idea.  Siva simply expressing an idea is not "prior art", since there was no implementation.

    IANAL.
    Not true. I have a granted patent for an idea that was never implemented. "Reduction to practice may be either actual (the invention is actually carried out and is found to work for its intended purpose) or constructive (a patent application having a sufficient disclosure is filed)." I think what Apple is arguing here is that Siva was an inventor and was not properly listed as such on the patent application. They'll have a strong case if they have documentation on this such as logs or notebooks. Not listing an inventor on the application or listing a non-inventor as an inventor (many times a CSO or VP wants their name on a patent even though they weren't involved in the inventive steps) are both cases for the patent to be invalidated.
  • Reply 13 of 15
    carnegie said:
    genovelle said:
    Did anyone expect Qualcomm to say, "Oh, hey! That's right. Totally forgot about that. Nevermind this lawsuit!"?

    Serious question, does this even make a difference that Siva supposedly offered the idea? Qualcomm has the patent, not Apple so it seem, at least in regard to that idea, that Qualcomm has the advantage.
    I’m not totally clear on patents but if they are anything like copyrights such input would mean  if they can prove the idea came from an Apple engineer but their names was erroneously excluded from the patent application, Qualcomm can sue Apple since they are part owner. 

    I don’t believe you can patent an idea. Otherwise virtually everyone could claim patent rights. You have to be able to implement your idea.
    genovelle said:
    Did anyone expect Qualcomm to say, "Oh, hey! That's right. Totally forgot about that. Nevermind this lawsuit!"?

    Serious question, does this even make a difference that Siva supposedly offered the idea? Qualcomm has the patent, not Apple so it seem, at least in regard to that idea, that Qualcomm has the advantage.
    I’m not totally clear on patents but if they are anything like copyrights such input would mean  if they can prove the idea came from an Apple engineer but their names was erroneously excluded from the patent application, Qualcomm can sue Apple since they are part owner. 

    I don’t believe you can patent an idea. Otherwise virtually everyone could claim patent rights. You have to be able to implement your idea.
    That's my understanding as well.  You can patent an implementation, but not an idea.  Siva simply expressing an idea is not "prior art", since there was no implementation.

    IANAL.
    It depends on what we mean by idea. No, you can't patent the simple idea: A car that can fly to the moon. But you wouldn't have to actually build such a car in order to be able to patent it.

    The requirement, simply put, is this: You have to describe the invention in such a way that someone of ordinary skill in the relevant art could, based on your description, make and use it. How close a bare idea comes to fulfilling that requirement would depend on the nature of the invention. Sometimes a lot of explanation about implementation would be needed, sometimes it wouldn't. 
    Imagine if that's how it worked 150 years ago when Edison was perfecting the light bulb.  He (or someone else) could have patented for "a method for creating visible light by passing electricity through a filament inside a vacuum-sealed glass container" without/before creating his hundreds or thousands of failed prototypes on the way to actually succeeding.  Back in the day, you had to show up in the patent office with a working light bulb, right?
  • Reply 14 of 15
    jccjcc Posts: 215member
    First of all, you can patent just about anything that's new and novel. Second, it used to be that if you can show that you came up with the idea first, even if it's a dated notebook showing that you had the idea earlier, you can contest subsequent filings. Not saying that it would be easy or a slam dunk but that's how the patent office decided on who has rights to the patent. However, USPTO a few years back changed it. It's now that whoever files first gets it, no longer whoever came up with the idea.

    As far as Qualcomm is concerned, it depends on when the patent was filed. If it was filed recently after this new rule of whoever files first has the rights then Apple's screwed. If it was done prior then Apple does have rights.

    Second, so the idea vs implementation is kind of like in the movie business of the story vs screenplay. The person who came up with the story first usually have rights to that story no matter who wrote the screenplay. If the screenplay writer wrote it independently without ever having met or heard of the story then they're ok. However, if they heard the story, even from 6 degrees of separation, then they're screwed.

    It's is the same here. If the Qualcomm engineer got the idea of how to do this, even though the Apple Engineer didn't do any of the subsequent work to validate and come up with any methods, they are still screwed as the idea originated from an Apple engineer.
    edited March 9
  • Reply 15 of 15
    carnegiecarnegie Posts: 726member
    carnegie said:
    genovelle said:
    Did anyone expect Qualcomm to say, "Oh, hey! That's right. Totally forgot about that. Nevermind this lawsuit!"?

    Serious question, does this even make a difference that Siva supposedly offered the idea? Qualcomm has the patent, not Apple so it seem, at least in regard to that idea, that Qualcomm has the advantage.
    I’m not totally clear on patents but if they are anything like copyrights such input would mean  if they can prove the idea came from an Apple engineer but their names was erroneously excluded from the patent application, Qualcomm can sue Apple since they are part owner. 

    I don’t believe you can patent an idea. Otherwise virtually everyone could claim patent rights. You have to be able to implement your idea.
    genovelle said:
    Did anyone expect Qualcomm to say, "Oh, hey! That's right. Totally forgot about that. Nevermind this lawsuit!"?

    Serious question, does this even make a difference that Siva supposedly offered the idea? Qualcomm has the patent, not Apple so it seem, at least in regard to that idea, that Qualcomm has the advantage.
    I’m not totally clear on patents but if they are anything like copyrights such input would mean  if they can prove the idea came from an Apple engineer but their names was erroneously excluded from the patent application, Qualcomm can sue Apple since they are part owner. 

    I don’t believe you can patent an idea. Otherwise virtually everyone could claim patent rights. You have to be able to implement your idea.
    That's my understanding as well.  You can patent an implementation, but not an idea.  Siva simply expressing an idea is not "prior art", since there was no implementation.

    IANAL.
    It depends on what we mean by idea. No, you can't patent the simple idea: A car that can fly to the moon. But you wouldn't have to actually build such a car in order to be able to patent it.

    The requirement, simply put, is this: You have to describe the invention in such a way that someone of ordinary skill in the relevant art could, based on your description, make and use it. How close a bare idea comes to fulfilling that requirement would depend on the nature of the invention. Sometimes a lot of explanation about implementation would be needed, sometimes it wouldn't. 
    Imagine if that's how it worked 150 years ago when Edison was perfecting the light bulb.  He (or someone else) could have patented for "a method for creating visible light by passing electricity through a filament inside a vacuum-sealed glass container" without/before creating his hundreds or thousands of failed prototypes on the way to actually succeeding.  Back in the day, you had to show up in the patent office with a working light bulb, right?
    He'd have needed to describe how to do it in a way that someone in the industry could, based on his description, do it. Your description wouldn't have sufficed. If the person following the description would, e.g., need to perform experiments to figure out what would work, then the description wouldn't suffice. It can't just be... go figure out how to do this. It has to be... this is how you could do this.

    As for showing up in the patent office with a working model... no, that's not how it worked. There have been some changes over the years. But the basics of needing to provide a description which someone in the industry could use to make the invention go back to the 1830s. Patent examination practices have no doubt evolved, but the legal criteria hasn't done away with, e.g., the kind of requirement to have a working model which you suggest. That was never a requirement. Going back to the 1830s, there wasn't even a non-obvious requirement. The requirements (which have been tweaked) were basically new and useful.
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