Jury Rules in Favor of Qualcomm, Says Apple Infringed on Three Qualcomm Patents [Updated]

Apple and Qualcomm this week wrapped up a patent trial where Apple was accused of infringing on three of Qualcomm's patents, and the verdict from the jury is in -- Apple violated Qualcomm's patents in its iPhones.

According to CNET, the jury today sided with Qualcomm and said that Apple needs to pay Qualcomm upwards of $31 million, which is the total that Qualcomm had asked for in damages.


The patents in question cover a method for allowing a smartphone to quickly connect to the internet once turned on, graphics processing and battery life, and a method for allowing apps to download data more easily by directing traffic between the processor and modem.

During the trial, Apple argued that one of its engineers, Arjuna Siva, had a hand in inventing the technology included in the first patent mentioned above in an attempt to get the patent invalidated, but the jury did not buy Apple's argument.

Apple will undoubtedly appeal the jury's ruling, and the legal battle between Qualcomm and Apple is far from over. Next month, the two companies will be back in court over a lawsuit that Apple levied against Qualcomm after Qualcomm refused to pay $1 billion in rebate payments.

Yesterday, a preliminary ruling went in Apple's favor, with a U.S. District Judge deciding that Qualcomm is obligated to make the rebate payments to Apple under the terms of the cooperation agreement between the two companies.

Update: In a statement to Bloomberg, Apple said that Qualcomm is trying to distract from "larger issues" with patent infringement claims: "Qualcomm's ongoing campaign of patent infringement claims is nothing more than an attempt to distract from the larger issues they face with investigations into their business practices in US federal court, and around the world."



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Qualcomm Wants Apple to Pay $31 Million in Damages in Patent Battle

Qualcomm today told a San Diego jury that it wants Apple to pay $31 million in damages for patent infringement violations, which is allegedly equivalent to $1.40 per infringing iPhone.

The new information comes from CNET, which has been covering the Qualcomm vs. Apple patent trial that's in court this week.


$1.40 per iPhone and a total of $31 million in damages suggests that Qualcomm believes only 22 million iPhones are infringing on its technology. Qualcomm came up with that total with the help of economist Patrick Kennedy, who took the stand as an expert witness for Qualcomm today. Kennedy calculated the figure based on iPhones sold from July 2017 on that used chips by Intel. Apple started using a mix of chips from both Intel and Qualcomm in the iPhone 7, and later transitioned to all Intel chips due to the legal troubles with Qualcomm.

Qualcomm and Apple are fighting over three patents that Qualcomm says Apple infringed on with its iPhones. As CNET describes, one of the patents covers a method for allowing a smartphone to quickly connect to the internet once turned on, while another covers graphics processing and battery life. The third patent Apple is accused of violating allows apps to download data more easily by directing traffic between the apps processor and modem.

Apple just last quarter earned more than $20 billion in profit, so $31 million in damages wouldn't be a hit to the company's bottom line. If Qualcomm wins the trial, though, its claim that its technology is at the "heart of every iPhone" would be more credible.

Apple and Qualcomm have been fighting since January 2017, when Apple sued Qualcomm for $1 billion in unpaid royalty fees. Qualcomm countersued, and since then, the two companies have levied multiple lawsuits against one another. Two of Qualcomm's lawsuits have resulted in import bans in Germany and China, both of which Apple was able to skirt with hardware and software updates.

The current patent trial between Apple and Qualcomm will last through next week.


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Samsung Set to Buy Camera Company That Sued Apple for Patent Infringement

Samsung is close to completing a deal that will see it purchasing Israeli smartphone camera company Corephotonics for $150 million, reports Israeli news site Globes (via Android Authority).

The Corephotonics name may sound familiar to those who follow iPhone news because in 2017, Corephotonics levied a lawsuit against Apple accusing the Cupertino company of infringing on several Corephotonics camera patents with the iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 8 Plus.


The patents in question relate to dual-lens camera technologies such as optical zoom and mini telephoto lens assembly techniques. The iPhone 7 Plus and the iPhone 8 Plus both use a dual-lens camera setup with 2x optical zoom and a wide-angle lens paired with a telephoto lens.

Dual-lens camera technology was first introduced with the iPhone 7 Plus in 2016 and it has subsequently been used in the iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max. Corephotonics' original lawsuit covered just the 7 Plus and 8 Plus, but in 2018, the company filed a new patent infringement lawsuit that also covers the iPhone X.

According to Corephotonics, Apple's iPhones with dual-lens cameras use patented telephoto lens designs, optical zoom techniques, and a method for fusing images from the wide-angle and telephoto lenses to create a better quality photograph.

When the lawsuit was filed, Corephotonics said that it contacted Apple, but after "positive feedback" and "encouraging reports," the two companies were unable to reach a licensing agreement. Corephotonics accused Apple of releasing the iPhone 7 Plus anyway, complete with infringing technology.

The legal matter between Corephotonics and Apple has yet to be resolved, so Samsung could inherit the dispute should it move forward with the Corephotonics purchase. Apple and Samsung in June 2018 reached a settlement for a design infringement lawsuit that spanned seven years.

Corephotonics developed the 5x optical zoom camera demonstrated by in an Oppo smartphone prototype in 2017, and it has detailed work [PDF] on a triple-lens camera setup that could allow for 5x optical zoom and a 25x total zoom feature that lets in 5x more light than traditional setups. Should Samsung purchase Corephotonics, these technologies could make their way to future Samsung devices.


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Apple Must Pay VirnetX $440 Million for Patent Infringement, Appeals Court Rules

Apple must pay VirnetX $440 million after an appeals court upheld an earlier judgement in favor of the patent holding company, reports Reuters.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit today denied Apple's appeal of a 2016 verdict that awarded VirnetX $302 million, which increased to $439.7 million when taking into account damages and interest calculated during retrials.


VirnetX first sued Apple in 2010, accusing FaceTime of infringing on patents held by VirnetX. The two companies have been fighting in court since then, and Apple in 2017 said it would appeal the final $440 million judgement.

In a separate case that is also still unsettled, VirnetX was awarded an additional $502.6 million from Apple after a court found that Apple's FaceTime, iMessage, and VPN on Demand features infringe on four VirnetX patents related to communications security.

Apple in total owes VirnetX $942 million, but is likely to continue to fight both rulings, as the patents in question have been ruled invalid by a separate court. Apple said it is disappointed with the ruling and will once again appeal.


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Judge Cuts Patent Licensing Company WiLan’s $145.1M Award From Apple to $10M

Back in August, a California jury awarded Canadian patent holding company WiLan $145.1 million in an ongoing dispute with Apple after the iPhone was found to have infringed on two WiLan patents related to wireless communications technology.

Apple won't be paying WiLan $145.1 million, though, as the court recently decided that WiLAN must accept reduced damages of $10 million or prepare for a new trial to figure out how much Apple needs to pay.


The court did agree, however, that Apple infringed on the two patents, so the company will need to pay WiLan some amount in damages.

WiLan and Apple have been ordered to enter into discussions to attempt to find a resolution, and WiLan says that it remains open to a "fair and reasonable" settlement with Apple.

WiLan describes itself as "one of the most successful patent licensing companies in the world." Apple's legal dispute with WiLan started back in 2010, when WiLan claimed Apple violated one of its Bluetooth related products.


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Qualcomm Says Apple is $7 billion Behind in Royalty Payments

Apple owes $7 billion in royalties to Qualcomm since halting payments because of its ongoing dispute with the mobile chip maker over unfair licensing practices, according to a court hearing on Friday (via Bloomberg).

Apple began withholding the payments through its manufacturers last year, after the tech giant filed a lawsuit against Qualcomm claiming that the chipmaker was charging unfair royalties for "technologies they have nothing to do with." However, Qualcomm maintains its technology "is at the heart of every iPhone," and that the royalties are entirely valid.
"They're trying to destroy our business," Qualcomm lawyer Evan Chesler said at the hearing in federal court in San Diego. "They're now $7 billion dollars behind in royalties. The house is on fire and there is $7 billion of property damage right now."
The two companies have been locked in the wide-ranging legal battle since 2017, with Apple accusing Qualcomm of unfair patent licensing practices and Qualcomm accusing Apple of patent infringement.

Apple argues that the mobile chipmaker is forcing it to pay for the use of its chips in iPhones and then again through patent royalties, a practice Apple refers to as "double-dipping." However Qualcomm claims it is doing nothing illegal and that Apple has agreed to the business model for years.

Both Apple and Qualcomm have filed multiple lawsuits against one another, with Qualcomm also seeking import and export bans on some iPhones in the United States and China.


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U.S. International Trade Commission Declines to Block iPhone Imports in Ongoing Apple v. Qualcomm Case

The United States International Trade Commission will not be blocking imports of the iPhone in the ongoing Apple v. Qualcomm case, reports Reuters.

Qualcomm had asked the ITC to ban imports of the AT&T and T-Mobile iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X models that use chips from Intel, citing multiple patent violations.


Qualcomm did not ask for a ban on iPhones that use Qualcomm LTE chips, with the reasoning that a more limited exclusion order was more likely to be granted.

An ITC judge said on Friday that while Apple's iPhones infringe on a patent related to power management technology, a ban will not be put in place. The judge cited "public interest factors" as one of the reasons why the court ruled against Qualcomm.

Neither Apple nor Qualcomm have commented on the decision as of yet, but it marks a major victory for Apple in its months-long legal battle with Qualcomm.

The two companies have been embroiled in an increasingly tense legal feud that kicked off in January 2017. Qualcomm and Apple have filed several more than a dozen lawsuits against one another since then.

Apple has accused Qualcomm of charging unfair royalties for "technologies they have nothing to do with," while Qualcomm claims that its inventions form the "very core" of modern mobile communication.

Earlier this week, Qualcomm further escalated the dispute by accusing Apple of providing confidential trade information and trade secrets stolen from Qualcomm to Intel.


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Apple Wins Appeal in Wisconsin Patent Lawsuit

Back in July 2017, U.S. District Judge William Conley ordered Apple to pay $506 million to the University of Wisconsin's Alumni Research Foundation for infringing on a patent related to computer processing technology in the company's A7, A8, and A8X chips. Conley had added $272 million on top of an existing $234 million in damages that a jury ordered Apple to pay in 2015, around when the lawsuit originated.

Today, Reuters reports that Apple has managed to persuade a federal appeals court to throw out at least part of the lawsuit, namely the $234 million in damages.

According to the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, no reasonable juror could have been able to find infringement based on the evidence that was presented in the liability phase of the trial in 2015, leading to its decision. It's unclear why the original $234 million damages award has been appealed, but without any mention of the $272 million extension being thrown out.
Apple Inc persuaded a federal appeals court on Friday to throw out a $234 million damages award in favor of the University of Wisconsin’s patent licensing arm for infringing the school’s patent on computer processing technology.

[The U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals] said Apple deserved judgment as a matter of law in the case brought by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation.
During the trial, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation originally asked for damages worth $862 million, but lowered the request to around $400 million. The patent in question, titled "Table based data speculation circuit for parallel processing computer," was originally granted in 1998 and covers a method for improving processor efficiency. It lists several current and former University of Wisconsin researchers as inventors.


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Patent Licensing Company WiLan Wins $145.1 Million From Apple in Patent Dispute

A Southern California jury has awarded Canadian patent holding company WiLan $145.1 million in an ongoing patent dispute with Apple, WiLan announced today.

Apple's iPhones were found to infringe on two patents (No. 8,457,145 and No. 8,537,757) related to wireless communications technology.


WiLan, a company owned by Quarterhill, describes itself as "one of the most successful patent licensing companies in the world."

Apple's legal dispute with WiLan has been going on since 2010, when WiLan claimed Apple had violated one of its Bluetooth related patents. In a case separate from today's, WiLan had demanded $248 million in damages from Apple, a battle that it lost in 2013 when a a jury ruled in Apple's favor.


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Apple Challenges Four Qualcomm Patents in Ongoing Legal Battle

Apple today filed petitions with the United States Patent and Trademark Office challenging the validity of four Qualcomm patents amid an increasingly vicious legal battle, reports Bloomberg. Apple is aiming to get the USPTO to cancel the four Qualcomm patents, arguing that they do not cover new ideas.

The patents in question cover camera autofocusing, a device that functions as a phone and a digital assistant, touch-sensitive displays, and circuit memory.


Challenging patent validity is one of Apple's typical strategies in its legal battles. According to Bloomberg, Apple has filed a total of 398 such petitions with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

For the Qualcomm filing, a trio of judges will consider the petition along with responses from Qualcomm, and will issue a preliminary decision on whether Apple's argument has merit. If Apple has a chance of getting the patents declared invalid, the USPTO will conduct a formal review before issuing a final judgement on the matter.

Apple and Qualcomm have been embroiled in a legal battle since the beginning of 2017, with the dispute centered on how much Apple should have to pay Qualcomm in royalties. Apple claims Qualcomm has been charging unfair royalties for "technologies [it] has nothing to do with," while Qualcomm claims its technology "is at the heart of every iPhone." Apple has used Qualcomm LTE chips in its devices for years, but has been moving away from Qualcomm's technology due to the legal fight.

Both Apple and Qualcomm have filed multiple lawsuits against one another, with Qualcomm also seeking import and export bans on some iPhones in the United States and China.

Apple iTunes chief Eddy Cue and Apple CEO Tim Cook will testify on June 27 as part of Qualcomm's initial lawsuit against Apple, which accuses the Cupertino company of lying to regulators to cause trouble for Qualcomm in multiple countries.

Last week, the United States International Trade Commission began investigating whether Apple infringed on three Qualcomm patents related to power management, radio voltage, and graphics processing. A pre-trial report from the ITC's lawyers suggested Apple infringed on the power management patent, but not the other two patents. A ruling on the ITC case, which has the potential to lead to an iPhone import ban, is expected in September.


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