Apple seeks to invalidate Qualcomm patents amid global legal battle

in General Discussion edited June 2018
Apple waded into familiar ground as its legal struggle with Qualcomm advances, and on Thursday filed petitions with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to cancel four patents owned by the iPhone modem supplier.

iPhone X

The challenge to Qualcomm's IP is related to a patent infringement lawsuit the company leveled against Apple in November. Specifically, the suit, filed with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, alleges tech in Apple's latest iPhone devices is in infringement of at least eight owned patents.

As reported by Bloomberg, Apple seeks to invalidate four patents relating to automatic focus in digital cameras, a smartphone with personal digital assistant capabilities, touch-sensitive displays and efficient circuit memory on the basis that the inventions are not novel.

To initiate a review, Apple must first provide evidence of previous art to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, which will examine the request and determine its likelihood of success. If the three-judge panel agrees there is substance to Apple's claims, it will issue a preliminary decision and undertake a formal review.

The action is the latest development in an ongoing legal fight between Apple and Qualcomm that began when Apple filed suit against the chipmaker last year.

In its initial complaint, Apple alleges Qualcomm withheld nearly $1 billion in rebates in retaliation for Apple's participation in a South Korean antitrust investigation. The tech giant further asserts Qualcomm abuses its "monopoly power" to force patent licensing while demanding excessive royalties from customers.

Qualcomm rebuked those claims and proceeded to file a string of countersuits and regulatory complaints against Apple both domestically and abroad. One of those actions, a complaint lodged with the U.S. International Trade Commission that seeks to halt the import of iPhone powered by Intel modems, kicked off last week.

For its part, Qualcomm says it expects the ordeal to end in a settlement. Company CEO Steve Mollenkopf has repeatedly played off Apple's advances, saying the legal battle comes down to favorable IP pricing.


  • Reply 1 of 6
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,689moderator
    Didn’t Apple patent multi-touch?  Lot of good it did them.  If that was ‘obvious’ then autofocus cameras and touch sensitive displays are even more so.  
    longpath[Deleted User]
  • Reply 2 of 6
    analogjackanalogjack Posts: 1,073member
    This is very strange, if it just hinges on 'prior art' then this does not involve deep investigation into the code, so there is prior art or there is not, if there is Apple has it or they don't. You'd think that the beaks on both sides would be able to recognise prior art when they see it.

    edited June 2018 wonkothesanelongpath
  • Reply 3 of 6
    wonkothesanewonkothesane Posts: 1,649member
    Didn’t Apple patent multi-touch?  Lot of good it did them.  If that was ‘obvious’ then autofocus cameras and touch sensitive displays are even more so.  
    Is it not more a question of prior art than of obviousness?

    Also,the move might simply be a strategic legal one, eg to gain more time in order to address the claim to halt imports, or to throw it into potential settlement negotiations. 
  • Reply 4 of 6
    icoco3icoco3 Posts: 1,474member
    Psion 1984....Newton 1993??
    edited June 2018 longpath
  • Reply 5 of 6
    nunzynunzy Posts: 662member
    Qualcomm is getting Appled!  they should have known better than to screw around with Apple. Apple will pound you into the pavement until the blood splatters and you need an ambulance.
  • Reply 6 of 6
    Mollenkopf May be playing to settle, but if he pushes Apple too far they may play to win.  

    We may soon hear him say: “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve”
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