If you thought that the legal battle between Qualcomm and Apple is coming to a close, then you have another thing coming. Qualcomm filed a series of new legal cases, among them is the file seeking to ban specific iPhone X operated by both AT&T and T-Mobile. Three new lawsuits have been filed indicating that Apple is infringing 16 Qualcomm patents with iPhones 7, 8, and X, not forgetting the Plus models.
Among the patents are the ones that focus on technology which improves the battery life, while others cover additional smartphone technology. Qualcomm indicated on one of their lawsuits that Apple is dependent on their patent-tech to develop the iPhone’s portrait mode effect.
The filed cases demand the court to stop Apple from applying those technologies. There is also an unspecified amount of payments demanded by Qualcomm, following Apple’s alleged violations of their patents. According to the “San Diego Union-Tribune,” Qualcomm goes further to present their claim to the US International Trade Commission. In the claim, they ask to ban all imports of iPhone X phones that use modems from its sworn-rival, Intel. This move will bar the iPhone X from being sold on AT&T and T-Mobile unless Apple sorts to purchasing the modems from Qualcomm.
In one of their lawsuits, Qualcomm compares the iPhone X’s multitasking user interface to that of the webOS. Apparently, Qualcomm currently owns patents focused on that user interface, not to mention the tech that was initially developed by Palm. All of the Palm inventions (now owned by Qualcomm), have since improved the workability of both the devices and their interfaces. According to Qualcomm, these patent technologies are found in Apple products without a license.
Apparently similarly alleges had been made back in July, where Qualcomm was demanding for payments and a yet again ban on Apple’s iPhones. Nevertheless, this week’s lawsuit was done so they can include the recently released iPhone X. The legal filings were recently presented before the court, moments after Apple had filed there patent infringement lawsuit against Qualcomm. In the case filed, Apple claimed that Qualcomm’s behavior was kindred to a usual patent troll they’ve always had before. Both Qualcomm and Apple presented their cases pointing to their previous filings when they were asked to comment.
This particular legal battle began with a smash in January, where we saw Qualcomm accused by the Federal Trade Commission of anti-competitive behavior. After that, we saw Apple file a case making similar allegations, where they made a big deal out of it, by making sure it was known worldwide. Just when we thought it was over, Qualcomm came with a comeback attack. Since then, there has been a lot of volley between rivals, with each side seeking to justify their tech is legitimate over the other.
While the patent legal battles continue, they are just a cover-up of the real moves made by Qualcomm. The company has been fined in the past by regulators in other countries for anti-competitive behavior, and we’re yet to see an action taken against them in the US. What to watch out for, however, is whether Qualcomm will be forced to change their patent licensing behaviors. This change will see the company registering low returns from the sale of their modems. Only time will reveal it all.