Qualcomm Files Patent Infringement Complaints Against Apple with the ITC and US Federal Court
The legal tussles between Apple and Qualcomm expand into newer territories, as Qualcomm has now filed patent infringement complaint against Apple with the US International Trade Commission to ban the import of infringing Apple products, and with the US District Court for the Southern District of California seeking damages and injunctive relief.
In its ITC complaint, Qualcomm is alleging that Apple has been infringing on six Qualcomm patents and is using the technology from these patents to enable important features and functions in iPhones.
“Qualcomm’s inventions are at the heart of every iPhone and extend well beyond modem technologies or cellular standards. The patents we are asserting represent six important technologies, out of a portfolio of thousands, and each is vital to iPhone functions. Apple continues to use Qualcomm’s technology while refusing to pay for it. These lawsuits seek to stop Apple’s infringement of six of our patented technologies.”
Qualcomm mentions the six patents to be as follows:
- U.S. Patent No. 8,633,936
- U.S. Patent No. 8,698,558
- U.S. Patent No. 8,487,658
- U.S. Patent No. 8,838,949
- U.S. Patent No. 9,535,490
- U.S. Patent No. 9,608,675
These patents enable high performance in smartphones while extending battery life. Qualcomm has issued an infographic which provides a little bit of detail on how this is done, but for detailed information on each of these, we recommend following along the links to read on the official patent filing.
Qualcomm asserts that the technologies covered under these patents are central to the performance of the iPhone, but are not essential to following any standard (i.e. they are not SEP) in a mobile device, nor is Qualcomm subject to a commitment to offer licensing for any of these six patents.
Consequently, Qualcomm is requesting the ITC to investigate into the infringements, hoping to get a Limited Exclusion Order (LEO) to bar the importation of infringing iPhones (iPhones that use cellular baseband processors other than those supplied by Qualcomm’s affiliates) and other products into the US. Qualcomm is also seeking a Cease and Desist order to stall further sales, marketing and distribution of infringing products that have already been imported in the United States.
Qualcomm expects the ITC investigation will commence in August this year, while the Federal Court case will be tried next year.
These particular complaints against Apple could be reactionary in nature, coming in response to Apple’s $1 Billion lawsuit against Qualcomm. Qualcomm appears to be confident enough in its patents to be approaching the ITC, so the timing of the suit definitely points towards Qualcomm trying to make an unwritten warning to Apple. Whatever be the true motive, it is now up to the regulating authorities to decide.
What are your thoughts on the latest case filed by Qualcomm against Apple? Let us know in the comments below!