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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Apple Settles Lawsuit With Biometric Sensor Company Valencell That Accused it of Stealing Technology for Apple Watch

Biometric sensor company Valencell has reportedly settled a three-year-old lawsuit against Apple that accused the tech giant of stealing its technology for Apple Watch.


Valencell filed the patent infringement lawsuit against Apple back in January 2016 at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina.

The lawsuit accused the Cupertino-based company of infringing on four of its patents, all related to heart rate sensing technology, as well as deceptive trade practices and breach of contract, following dealings Apple had with Valencell before the launch of the Apple Watch.

However, citing a Valencell source, well-connected endurance tech blog the5krunner reports that "Valencell's case against Apple has now been settled and neither is able to further comment."

Valencell originally claimed Apple solicited technical information and know-how under the false pretense of a licensing agreement for its PerformTek technology, despite having no real intention of actually licensing it.

The biometric company also accused Apple of deciding it was more financially beneficial to risk infringing on Valencell's patents than to license them, claiming that the practice was "consistent with the statement by Apple CEO Steve Jobs that Apple has 'always been shameless about stealing great ideas.'"

Valencell had requested a preliminary and permanent injunction preventing future acts of infringement, as well as damages and an ongoing royalty rate for licensing purposes should a permanent injunction not be granted.

Valencell provides the optical heart rate monitoring and other biometric sensors in many third party devices. The company filed a similar lawsuit against Fitbit in January 2016, but that case is said to be still ongoing.

(Thanks, Neil!)

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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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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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Samsung Demands Another Retrial, Says ‘No Reasonable Jury’ Could Have Sided With Apple

Last month, a jury ruled that Samsung must pay Apple $539 million for violating Apple design patents as part of a legal battle that has spanned years, but the jury's ruling apparently won't be the end of the dispute between the two companies.

Samsung last week filed an appeal (via CNET) asking the U.S. District Court in San Jose to either reduce the judgment against it to $28 million or hold a new trial. Samsung filed the motion on the grounds that "no reasonable jury could have found that any of Apple's asserted design patents was applied to Samsung's entire accused smartphones."


The jury's ruling, says Samsung, is "excessive" and the evidence "supports a verdict of no more than $28.085 million," which was the amount Samsung advocated for during the trial.

The latest Samsung v. Apple trial was held to redetermine the amount of damages Apple had to pay after Samsung appealed to the Supreme Court and said that the original damages award, set at $399 million after several appeals, was a disproportionate sum for the design violation.

During the trial, the jury was tasked with deciding whether the damages should be based on the total value of the iPhone or if Samsung's penalty should be based on just the elements of the iPhone that it copied.


Apple argued for $1 billion in damages based on the total design of the iPhone, while Samsung argued that it should pay a far lesser amount, the aforementioned $28 million. The jury split the difference and awarded Apple $539 million, which happened to be a far larger penalty than the original $399 million damages ruling from 2015.

When the jury's ruling was announced in May, Samsung promised to appeal in a statement: "Today's decision flies in the face of a unanimous Supreme Court ruling in favor of Samsung on the scope of design patent damages. We will consider all options to obtain an outcome that does not hinder creativity."

Samsung also filed a separate motion at the same time asking the court to order Apple to reimburse it for a $145 million payment that Samsung submitted for a now-invalidated multi-touch patent.

Apple has 10 days to respond to Samsung's new filing, with a hearing scheduled for July 26.


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Samsung Ordered to Pay Apple $539 Million in iPhone Design Patent Retrial

The latest Samsung v. Apple trial wrapped up this afternoon after the jury decided that Samsung must pay Apple a total of $539 million for violating Apple's design patents with five android devices sold between 2010 and 2011, reports CNET.

A total of $533,316,606 was awarded to Apple for Samsung's violation of three design patents, while the remaining $5,325,050 million was for Samsung's infringement on two of Apple's utility patents.


Samsung and Apple were back in court to redetermined damages after Samsung appealed to the Supreme Court and said that the original damages award, which was set at $399 million after several appeals, was a "disproportionate" sum for the design violation.

The Supreme Court ordered the U.S. Court of Appeals to redetermine the damages amount, leading to today's victory for Apple.

The core issue of the retrial was whether the damages should be based on the total value of the iPhone or if Samsung's fee should be based on just the elements of the iPhone that it copied.


Apple argued that its payment should be based on the full value of the iPhone, while Samsung argued that it should pay a lesser amount. They're seeking profits on the entire phone," argued Samsung lawyer John Quinn. "Apple's design patents do not cover the entire phone. They are entitled to profits only on [infringing] components, not the entire phone."

Apple asked the jury to award $1 billion in damages, while Samsung asked jurors to limit the damages to $28 million. Unfortunately for Samsung, the jury sided with Apple, and the new award is more than Samsung would have had to pay had the retrial not happened.

In a statement, Apple had this to say: "It is a fact that Samsung blatantly copied our design. We're grateful to the jury for their service and pleased they agree that Samsung should pay for copying our products.


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Apple Demands $1 Billion From Samsung for Design Patent Violations as New Damages Trial Kicks Off

Apple and Samsung are back in court this week for a damages retrial that will determine just how much Samsung has to pay Apple for infringing on Apple design patents. Samsung was found guilty of violating the patents back in 2012, but the two companies have been fighting over the amount of money Samsung should pay as a result for the last six years.

The core issue between the two companies is whether the damages should be based on the total value of the device, or whether Samsung should pay a fee based just on the elements of the phone that it copied.


Apple is of the opinion that its payment should be based on the full value of the iPhone, while Samsung is arguing that it should pay a lesser amount based only on a portion of the iPhone's value. "They're seeking profits on the entire phone," argued Samsung lawyer John Quinn. "Apple's design patents do not cover the entire phone. They are entitled to profits only on [infringing] components, not the entire phone."

Yesterday was spent picking jurors, while opening arguments and testimony started today. Key Apple executives like Tim Cook and Jony Ive will not be testifying during the trial, but Richard Howarth, senior director of the Apple Design Team will discuss the design process, and Susan Kare will also take the stand to talk about user interface graphics design.

Apple vice president of product marketing Greg Joswiak was first up to testify this afternoon, where he said that the design of the iPhone is central to Apple's products and that Apple took a huge risk with its development.


Back when the verdict of the lawsuit was originally decided in 2012, Samsung was ordered to pay $1 billion, but that was eventually reduced to $548 million.


Of that $548 million, which Samsung paid to Apple in 2015, $399 million was earmarked for the design patent infringements. Samsung at the time argued that it had been ordered to pay a "disproportionate" sum for the design violation, and appealed to the Supreme Court for reduced damages.

Samsung's appeal was somewhat successful, and the Supreme Court ordered the U.S. Court of Appeals to redetermine the amount Samsung owes Apple for the design patent infringement, which leads us to the trial that's taking place this week.

Apple is asking for a $1 billion award from Samsung during the damages retrial this week, and has argued that while it's a lot of money, "Samsung infringed millions and millions and millions of times." Samsung, meanwhile, has asked the jury to limit damages to $28 million.


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Corephotonics Sues Apple Over Dual-Lens Cameras in iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 8 Plus

Corephotonics, an Israeli maker of dual-lens camera technologies for smartphones, has filed a lawsuit against Apple this week alleging that the iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 8 Plus infringe upon four of its patents.


The patents, filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office between November 2013 and June 2016, relate to dual-lens camera technologies appropriate for smartphones, including optical zoom and a mini telephoto lens assembly.

U.S. Patent No. 9,402,032
U.S. Patent No. 9,568,712
U.S. Patent No. 9,185,291
U.S. Patent No. 9,538,152

Corephotonics alleges that the two iPhone models copy its patented telephoto lens design, optical zoom method, and a method for intelligently fusing images from the wide-angle and telephoto lenses to improve image quality.

iPhone X isn't listed as an infringing product, despite having a dual-lens camera, perhaps because the device launched just four days ago.

Corephotonics showed off some of its technologies at Mobile World Congress last year. In particular, it demonstrated software capable of combining the images of two separate camera lenses to create a more detailed picture, including the ability to optically zoom up to 5x with no moving parts.


Corephotonics, founded in 2012, describes itself as a pioneer in the development of dual camera technologies for mobile devices. The company's founders, led by Tel Aviv University professor Dr. David Mendlovic, have decades of experience in the fields of optics and miniature digital cameras.

In its complaint, a copy of which was reviewed by MacRumors, Corephotonics said one of its first acts as a company was to contact Apple. Despite receiving "many encouraging reports" and "positive feedback" from the iPhone maker, the companies never reached a license of any kind.
As one of its first acts as a company, Corephotonics reached out to Apple in the hopes of establishing a strategic partnership. Corephotonics received many encouraging reports and positive feedback from Apple about its technology, but the parties never concluded a license to the Corephotonics technology.
Corephotonics said Apple proceeded to release the iPhone 7 Plus with a dual-lens camera in September 2016, and has been willfully infringing upon its patents since that time. Corephotonics says Apple has knowledge of its patents, one of which the iPhone maker allegedly submitted as prior art in a patent application.

Corephotonics even claims Apple's "lead negotiator" said it "would take years and millions of dollars in litigation" before Apple might owe anything.
In fact, after one failed effort to negotiate a license, Apple's lead negotiator expressed contempt for Corephotonics’ patents, telling Dr. Mendlovic and others that even if Apple infringed, it would take years and millions of dollars in litigation before Apple might have to pay something.
It's worth noting that Apple acquired another Israeli camera company, LinX Imaging, back in 2015. LinX also specialized in creating multi-aperture camera equipment for mobile devices, and Apple presumably incorporated some of its technologies into the iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 8 Plus cameras.

Corephotonics is seeking damages of an amount to be proven in a jury trial, plus permanent injunctive relief. The complaint was filed with a U.S. District Court in Northern California, where Apple is headquartered.

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