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Apple attempts to invalidate Qualcomm patents in ongoing licensing fee spat

APPLE IS ATTEMPTING to end its legal battle with Qualcomm by filing a petition to get four of the chipmaker’s patents declared invalid. 

So says Bloomberg, which reports that Apple on Thursday filed petitions with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), asking for the four Qualcomm patents – which are at the centre of a licensing fee battle between the two firms – to be cancelled.  

Apple argues the four patents in question – which relate to how to focus a digital camera, a device that works as a phone and personal digital assistant, touch-sensitive displays, and circuit memory – aren’t new ideas and shouldn’t be valid.

The Bloomberg report notes that Apple will have to 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.

This tactical move by Apple – one that it’s used, er, 398 times to date – is the latest of many in its ongoing legal fight with Qualcomm, which first kicked off at the beginning of 2017 and relates to how much Apple should have to pay Qualcomm in royalties. 

Qualcomm, which is trying to ban iPhones from being sold in the US, argues that its innovations are “at the heart of every iPhone”, and says “Apple continues to use Qualcomm’s technology while refusing to pay for it.”

Apple, which has used Qualcomm’s modem chips in iPhone for years but has recently shifted away from the chipmaker’s tech, claims Qualcomm has been charging “unfair royalties” for tech it has nothing to do with. 

“Qualcomm’s illegal business practices are harming Apple and the entire industry,” the company said last year. “They supply us with a single connectivity component, but for years have been demanding a percentage of the total cost of our products – effectively taxing Apple’s innovation.” µ

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Source : Inquirer

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