Apple, Qualcomm slapped with patent infringement lawsuit targeting 5G chips

Posted:
in General Discussion
Apple and Qualcomm have been hit with a lawsuit alleging that certain 5G technologies used by both companies infringe on an RF calibration patent.

Credit: Qualcomm
Credit: Qualcomm


The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas Thursday, focuses on a handful of Qualcomm 5G wireless transceivers. It also goes after the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro, which incorporates the infringing transceiver technology because they use Qualcomm 5G modems.

Specifically, the lawsuit names Qualcomm's SMR526, SDR865, and SDX55M as the infringing products.

The plaintiff in the case is non-practicing entity Red Rock, which owns U.S. Patent No. 7,346,313. That patent outlines a system for calibrating the balance of in-phase (I) and quadrature (Q) signals in radio transceivers.

According to the complaint, both Apple and Qualcomm had prior knowledge of the '313 patent. In Qualcomm's case, it alleges that the company received notice of the existence of the patent at least three times between 2008 and 2011.

As such, the lawsuit says that the actions taken by Apple and Qualcomm "have been, and continue to be, committed in a knowing willful, and egregious manner and constitute willful infringement of" the intellectual property.

The complaint seeks a jury trial and a long list of prayers for relief, including enjoinments barring Apple and Qualcomm from infringing on the '313 patent, damages, and royalty payments.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,486member
    The moment I read "Western District of Texas", I dismiss this lawsuit.  Anything being filed at the center of patent-troll central is BS as far as I'm concerned.
    StrangeDaysAlex1Nlongpathwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 10
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 8,921member
    sflocal said:
    The moment I read "Western District of Texas", I dismiss this lawsuit.  Anything being filed at the center of patent-troll central is BS as far as I'm concerned.
    Dismiss it if you want to. Qualcomm and Apple will wind up paying big money to these leeches. The big question is why other phone makers who use Qualcomm modems aren’t getting sued too. Maybe this article didn’t check into it.
    Alex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 10
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,486member
    lkrupp said:
    sflocal said:
    The moment I read "Western District of Texas", I dismiss this lawsuit.  Anything being filed at the center of patent-troll central is BS as far as I'm concerned.
    Dismiss it if you want to. Qualcomm and Apple will wind up paying big money to these leeches. The big question is why other phone makers who use Qualcomm modems aren’t getting sued too. Maybe this article didn’t check into it.
    I suspect they will go after Apple first, being the one with the deepest pockets and if they win, the others will be quick to settle.

    Alex1Nllamawatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 10
    Anilu_777Anilu_777 Posts: 248member
    Owning patents for nothing but legal suits should be unlawful. 
    Alex1Nlongpathwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 10
    revenantrevenant Posts: 611member
    Anilu_777 said:
    Owning patents for nothing but legal suits should be unlawful. 

    good luck getting that through a republican state
    edited April 9 watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 10
    IreneWIreneW Posts: 195member
    Anilu_777 said:
    Owning patents for nothing but legal suits should be unlawful. 
    Why? Why shouldn't licensing patents be a valid business, in the same way as music or publishing rights management?

    I would understand if you claim copyright and patents are bad by nature, but if you want that kind of IP protection, you also need to allow transfer of ownership.
    avon b7christophb
  • Reply 7 of 10
    longpathlongpath Posts: 337member
    Anilu_777 said:
    Owning patents for nothing but legal suits should be unlawful. 
    One could well make the argument that since the portions of the Constitution authorizing the government the power to grant patents was ratified before Amendment 1, and that since Amendment 1 was therefore ratified after said portions, that Amendment 1 supersedes said portions. Since IP law in the US is entirely derived from Article I, Section 8, Clause 8, & one could easily argue that IP law abridges freedom of speech, that Article I, Section 8, Clause 8, and all laws derived thereof, is null and void. I understand that Apple would never touch such an argument because of the vast trove of their own patents and copyrights that would be scuttled; but I find it surprising that I can’t find any indication of any entity attempting to use this argument to defend from patent trolls.
    edited April 9 watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 10
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,392member
    longpath said:
    Anilu_777 said:
    Owning patents for nothing but legal suits should be unlawful. 
    One could well make the argument that since the portions of the Constitution authorizing the government the power to grant patents was ratified before Amendment 1, and that since Amendment 1 was therefore ratified after said portions, that Amendment 1 supersedes said portions. Since IP law in the US is entirely derived from Article I, Section 8, Clause 8, & one could easily argue that IP law abridges freedom of speech, that Article I, Section 8, Clause 8, and all laws derived thereof, is null and void. I understand that Apple would never touch such an argument because of the vast trove of their own patents and copyrights that would be scuttled; but I find it surprising that I can’t find any indication of any entity attempting to use this argument to defend from patent trolls.

    I know some very qualified lawyers who I think would laugh at this suggestion.  You're suggesting that the entirety of IP law is unconstitutional on freedom of speech grounds? LOL.  Good luck with that.  Apple wouldn't touch it because it's a ridiculous argument that would be laughed out of court.  It's not a defense.  I mean no offense with that comment, of course.  

    Now, in my view we do need patent/IP reform.  These troll NPEs  have made a mess of the entire system.  They are hurting consumers by clogging up the system and forcing true innovators to spend billions on legal fees, damages, etc.  They don't make anything.  They just own ideas they claim are the ones used in other products.  
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 10
    I suspect that it's Qualcomm who'll be on the hook ... if anyone.

    When Apple buys the chipset from Qualcomm, Qualcomm should include an implicit guarantee that the IP included on the chip is free from IP entanglements. Qualcomm should indemnify all its customers from such third party litigation - especially considering how Qualcomm double dips and charges customers for the chip, and then a separate license for the IP (which is a percentage of the entire device).

    The fact that they included Apple in the suit just proves the plaintiffs are blood sucking leeches.
    Dogpersonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 10
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,500member
    IreneW said:
    Anilu_777 said:
    Owning patents for nothing but legal suits should be unlawful. 
    Why? Why shouldn't licensing patents be a valid business, in the same way as music or publishing rights management?

    I would understand if you claim copyright and patents are bad by nature, but if you want that kind of IP protection, you also need to allow transfer of ownership.
    Music is still a tangible implementation of the IP.
    So why shouldn't patents only be licensable and defendable with tangible implementations as well?

    Doesn't need to be full stack just minimal software or FGA setup they show inputs can produce output as described.
    watto_cobra
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