Patent lawsuits


'Patent lawsuits' Articles

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.

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

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. Joswiak: With the #iPhon

Qualcomm Hopes to Defuse Tensions With Apple Through Broadened Use of Lower-Cost Licensing Model

Following a legal battle that's been ongoing between Apple and LTE chipmaker Qualcomm since early 2017, the latter company today announced an initiative aimed at defusing tensions with Apple. Specifically, Qualcomm says it will "broaden" its use of a lower-cost licensing model moving forward (via Reuters). The move is a response to the FTC's original complaint that Qualcomm was engaging in anticompetitive patent licensing practices in order to remain the dominant supplier of LTE chips for smartphones. Soon after the FTC targeted Qualcomm, Apple sued the supplier, stating that Qualcomm "reinforces its dominance" through exclusionary tactics and high patent licensing fees. Now, Qualcomm will receive a lower licensing rate when it does business with customers like Apple, Samsung, and Huawei. Qualcomm licensing division head Alex Rogers hopes that this move will eventually resolve its disputes with Apple and one other unnamed company, thought to be Huawei. “It’s a good context for dealing with the two licensee issues we have now,” Alex Rogers, the head of Qualcomm’s licensing division, told Reuters in an interview, naming Apple but leaving Huawei unnamed as is the company’s policy when a dispute hasn’t become public through a court proceeding. Rogers did not comment directly on the likelihood of resolving either customer dispute. Rogers explains that Qualcomm is doing this by "including more technology" in its licensable patents without raising prices. Before, smartphone makers had the chance to buy two sets of Qualcomm patents, representing a "full suite" or a

Qualcomm Seeks Import Ban on AT&T and T-Mobile iPhone 8 and iPhone X Models

Qualcomm today announced that it has filed three new patent infringement claims against Apple, accusing the Cupertino company of violating a total of 16 Qualcomm patents with its most recent iPhones, including the iPhone X. Most of the patents in question cover technologies like carrier aggregation, memory designs, and power management features that are designed help to reduce battery usage, but in one claim, Qualcomm says Apple is using a depth-based image enhancement technique for Portrait mode that violates a Qualcomm patent. Qualcomm is also filing a new complaint with the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) concerning five of the patents, and it is asking the ITC to ban imports of iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X models that use chips from Intel, aka AT&T and T-Mobile devices in the United States. The complaint with the ITC follows a previous filing in July that saw Qualcomm ask for an import ban on iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models equipped with Intel modem chips, along with some iPad models. Qualcomm has not asked for a ban on iPhones that use Qualcomm LTE chips, with the reasoning that a more limited exclusion order is more likely to be granted. In the lawsuit, Qualcomm once again says its inventions form the "very core" of "modern mobile communication," and that without Qualcomm technology, Apple products "would lose much of their consumer appeal." Qualcomm is seeking damages in an amount to be proven at trial, a permanent injunction against Apple, and attorneys fees. Qualcomm's latest filing follows a countersuit from Apple

Apple Countersues Qualcomm for Patent Infringement Related to Snapdragon Chips

In the ongoing legal feud between Apple and LTE chipmaker Qualcomm, Reuters reports today that Apple has made the latest move by filing a countersuit against Qualcomm and claiming that the supplier's Snapdragon chips -- used in many Android devices -- infringe on the Cupertino company's patents. The countersuit is Apple's retaliation against Qualcomm after the latter company sought iPhone and iPad import bans in the United States over the summer. At the time, Qualcomm alleged that Apple infringed on six Qualcomm patents related to carrier aggregation and technologies that were designed to allow iPhones to save battery life while communicating. Apple denied any of these claims and said that Qualcomm's patents were "invalid." Apple's new countersuit further revises its answer to Qualcomm's complaint from July by adding on the accusation of patent infringement surrounding the Snapdragon chips. The filing alleges that Apple owns "at least" eight battery life patents Qualcomm has violated, related to making sure that each part of the phone's processor draws only minimum power needed to function, powering down parts of the processor when not needed, and ensuring that sleep and wake functions work better for the user. Apple specifically says that Qualcomm's Snapdragon 800 and 820 processors -- included in Samsung and Google smartphones -- infringe on these patents, but Apple has only named Qualcomm in its counter lawsuit. The specific monetary damages Apple is looking for were not disclosed. Apple Inc on Thursday filed a countersuit against Qualcomm Inc, alleging that

U.S. ITC Investigating Claims Apple Infringed on Patents Owned by Aqua Connect

The United States International Trade Commission today announced that it has launched an investigation into allegations that Apple infringed on patents owned by Aqua Connect. Back in October, Aqua Connect and its subsidiary Strategic Technology partners filed complaints against Apple with the United States International Trade Commission and the District Court for the Central District of California accusing Macs, iOS devices, and Apple TVs of infringing on two of its patents. The two patents in question include U.S. Patent RE46,386, "Updating a User Session in a Mach-derived Computer System Environment" and U.S. Patent 8,924,502, "System, Method and Computer Program Product for Updating a User Session in a Mach-derived System Environment." According to Aqua Connect, both of the patents relate to screen sharing, remote desktop, and terminal server technology. Aqua Connect says that it built the first remote desktop solution for the Mac in 2008, which Apple later built into its iOS and macOS products in the form of AirPlay and other functionality without permission."Aqua Connect invented and built the first fully functional remote desktop and terminal server solution for Mac in 2008," said Ronnie Exley, CEO of Aqua Connect. "Initially, our product had Apple's full support. But years later, Apple built our technology into its macOS and iOS operating systems without our permission. These lawsuits seek to stop Apple from continuing to use our technology in their macOS and iOS operating systems."Aqua Connect's complaint with the International Trade Commission asks for

Qualcomm Accuses Apple of Helping Intel Using Qualcomm Software

Qualcomm on Wednesday filed yet another lawsuit against Apple, this time accusing the company of breaching software licensing terms and using Qualcomm code to help Intel, reports Bloomberg. According to Qualcomm, Apple breached a contract that dictates the use of software that's designed to make Qualcomm chips work with other iPhone components. Qualcomm also believes Apple may have used its access to that software to help Intel with its own modem chip development. Since 2016, Apple has been using LTE chips from both Intel and Qualcomm in an effort to diversify its supply chain and move some production away from Qualcomm. The iPhone 7, 7 Plus, 8, and 8 Plus all use a mix of Qualcomm and Intel chips. In light of the ongoing legal battle with Qualcomm, Apple is said to be considering eliminating Qualcomm chips from its devices all together, instead adopting chips from Intel and possibly MediaTek. Rumors suggest Qualcomm has been withholding software from Apple that Apple needs to test prototype devices for next year, forcing Apple's hand. Qualcomm and Apple have been involved in an escalating legal fight since the beginning of the year after Apple sued Qualcomm for $1 billion. Apple has accused Qualcomm of charging unfair royalties for "technologies they have nothing to do with" and failing to pay for quarterly rebates. Apple has since stopped paying royalties to Qualcomm until new licensing fees have been worked out, as have Apple suppliers, significantly impacting Qualcomm's profits. Qualcomm has since levied several lawsuits against Apple, accusing the

Apple Considering Eliminating Qualcomm Chips From Next Year's iPhones and iPads

Amid an escalating legal battle with Qualcomm, Apple is designing its 2018 iPhones and iPads without Qualcomm LTE chips, reports The Wall Street Journal. Apple is instead considering using only modem chips from Intel and perhaps MediaTek in its next-generation devices. Qualcomm is allegedly withholding software that Apple needs to test LTE chips in its iPhone and iPad prototypes, necessitating the move. The Wall Street Journal's sources say Qualcomm stopped sharing the software following the January lawsuit Apple filed against the company, hindering Apple's development efforts, but Qualcomm claims Apple has already tested the chip that would be suitable for the next-generation iPhone.Qualcomm said its "modem that could be used in the next generation iPhone has already been fully tested and released to Apple." The chip company said it is "committed to supporting Apple's new devices" as it does for others in the industry.Apple has used Qualcomm modem chips in its devices for many years, but began diversifying last year with the addition of Intel modem chips in the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus. The iPhone 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus also use both Intel and Qualcomm chips. In the United States, AT&T and T-Mobile models use chips from Intel, while Verizon and Sprint models use chips from Qualcomm. According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple's plans to stop using Qualcomm chips in its 2018 devices could still change. Apple could switch suppliers as late as June, three months before the launch of the 2018 iPhone. Apple and Qualcomm have been embroiled in a legal

Apple Ordered to Pay $506M to University of Wisconsin in A7/A8 Patent Dispute

U.S. District Judge William Conley today 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 used in its A7, A8, and A8X chips, reports Reuters. The $506 million total is more than double the $234 million in damages that a Jury ordered Apple to pay back in 2015, with Conley adding an extra $272 million. According to Conley, Apple owes additional damages along with interest because Apple continued to infringe on the patent until it expired at the end of 2016. The lawsuit in question dates back to 2014, when the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation accused Apple of infringing on a patent titled "Table based data speculation circuit for parallel processing computer," that was originally granted in 1998 and covers a method for improving processor efficiency. A jury ruled that Apple's A7, A8, and A8X processors infringe on the patent, and the university has also filed a second lawsuit covering Apple's A9 chips, which has not yet been ruled on. Apple plans to appeal the judge's

Qualcomm Says Tech Group Supporting Apple is 'Misdirecting' ITC With 'Coordinated Effort'

Last week, the Computer & Communications Industry Association, a lobbying group representing Google, eBay, Amazon, Microsoft, Netflix, Intel, Samsung, and other tech companies, asked the United States International Trade Commission to reject Qualcomm's request for an import ban on some of Apple's iPhone and iPad models that use Intel chips. The group said that banning Apple products that use Intel chips would enable Qualcomm's anti-competitive behavior and cause supply issues, resulting in harm to consumers. Qualcomm today responded to the CCIA in a court filing, accusing the group of launching a "coordinated effort aimed at misdirecting" the ITC, reports Reuters. Qualcomm also said that the import ban it requested is not focused on Intel's chips, but the patented technology used in iPhones with Intel chips.In its filing on Monday, Qualcomm argued that its import ban is not actually about Intel's chips, but instead concerns the patented technology that surrounds the Intel chips in current versions of the iPhone. Thus a ban on importing the phones would not hurt competition in the long term, Qualcomm argued. "Apple can purchase and utilize any LTE modem it chooses so long as it does not infringe Qualcomm's asserted patents," the company wrote.Apple and Qualcomm have been embroiled in an ongoing legal battle following Apple's decision to sue Qualcomm in January for charging unfair royalties and refusing to pay quarterly rebates. The fight between the two companies has escalated since then, most recently leading Qualcomm to file a patent infringement lawsuit

Qualcomm CEO Says Out of Court Settlement With Apple Could Happen

Apple and Qualcomm have been embroiled in a bitter legal battle since the beginning of the year, and though the fight has escalated in recent weeks, Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf today told Fortune that an out of court settlement is not out of the question."There's not really anything new going on," Mollenkopf said speaking at the Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen. About the Apple dispute, he explained "those things tend to get to resolved out of court and there's no reason why I wouldn't expect that to be the case here."Mollenkopf went on to say that he has no specific news of a settlement and that nothing new has happened in the case. "I don't have an announcement or anything so please don't ask, he told Fortune. Mollenkopf made a similar statement back in February, but that was before the legal battle between the two companies intensified. At that time, he also said he didn't expect a public fight, something Apple and Qualcomm have not been able to avoid. Today's interview suggests Qualcomm is still open to settlement talks, but whether that will happen remains to be seen. If Apple and Qualcomm do not settle, we can expect a legal battle that will continue on for several years. The fight between Apple and Qualcomm started in January, after the FTC complained that Qualcomm had engaged in anticompetitive patent licensing practices. Apple sued Qualcomm for $1 billion just days later, accusing the company of charging unfair royalties for "technologies they have nothing to do with" and refusing to pay quarterly rebates. According to Apple, Qualcomm has

Qualcomm Seeks iPhone and iPad Import Ban in the United States

The legal battle between Qualcomm and Apple continues to escalate, with Qualcomm asking the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) to block imports of select iPhone and iPad models, reports Fortune. Qualcomm also wants to stop sales of devices that are already in the United States and has filed a new patent infringement case against Apple in the Southern District of California. According to Qualcomm, Apple is infringing on six Qualcomm patents related to carrier aggregation and technologies that are designed to allow iPhones to save battery life while communicating. The six patents cited by Qualcomm were granted between 2013 and 2017 and are not licensed or standard-essential patents that are part of the ongoing Qualcomm v. Apple battle over royalty payments. Qualcomm is asking the ITC to block all iPhones that are equipped with LTE chips from competing mobile communications companies, which would include AT&T and T-Mobile iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models equipped with Intel chips, along with some iPad models. In an interview, Qualcomm lawyer Don Rosenberg said Qualcomm is pursuing another lawsuit and an import ban because Apple is not willing to pay for the technology it uses."If Apple was a willing licensee and Apple was someone who was, like everybody else, willing to pay for what they use, we wouldn't be suing them on these patents," Don Rosenberg, Qualcomm's general counsel, said in an interview. "But they're not, and we felt we were put in a position, given all the lawsuits they've brought against us around the world, of not simply having to

Apple and Nokia Settle Patent Dispute With New Licensing Agreement

Nokia and Apple announced today that they have settled all litigation related to their intellectual property dispute and agreed a multi-year patent license. Under the collaborative agreement, Nokia said it will provide "certain network infrastructure products and services" to Apple. In turn, Apple agreed to return all health products owned by the Finnish company to Apple retail and online stores. "This is a meaningful agreement between Nokia and Apple," said Maria Varsellona, Chief Legal Officer at Nokia, responsible for Nokia's patent licensing business. "It moves our relationship with Apple from being adversaries in court to business partners working for the benefit of our customers."In December of last year, Nokia filed multiple complaints against Apple in several countries, accusing the Cupertino company of infringing several of its patents. In response, Apple sued Nokia in an antitrust lawsuit against several patent assertion entities which it claimed were trying to collect excessive fees for Nokia patents. Apple had established FRAND (Fair, Reasonable, and Non-Discriminatory) deals with Nokia, but by transferring patents to patent holding companies, additional royalties can be demanded. Just days after the legal dispute flared up, Apple pulled all Withings-branded, Nokia-owned accessories from its online and retail stores around the world. Nokia stood its ground, however, claiming that it had not been able to reach a licensing agreement with Apple and therefore had to defend its rights. Following the latest development, Nokia will receive an up-front

Apple vs. Samsung Case to Return to Lower Court for Possible Damages Retrial

The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit today ruled that a lower district court must decide whether a damages retrial is required in the long running legal battle between Apple and Samsung, reports CNET. The case will return to the same San Jose, California court where it was originally heard by Judge Lucy Koh. From today's ruling:Both parties filed statements urging us to take different actions. While Apple requests continued panel review, Samsung requests that we remand to the district court for a new trial on damages. For the reasons explained below, we adopt neither suggested course of action. Instead, we remand this case to the district court for further proceedings, which may or may not include a new damages trial.Apple's dispute with Samsung dates back to 2011, when Apple sued Samsung for copying the iPhone's design. Apple was initially awarded nearly $1 billion in damages, but a significant part of that decision was reversed in 2015, leaving Samsung owing $548 million. Samsung paid the $548 million in 2015, but also asked the Supreme Court to hear the case in the hopes of reimbursement, claiming it was asked to pay a "disproportionate" sum for violating Apple's design patents. $399 million of the $548 million was awarded for the design patent violation, and in December, the Supreme Court sided with Samsung, overturning that particular damages ruling. The Supreme Court remanded the case back to the U.S. Court of Appeals to reconsider the $399 million portion of the ruling, and the lawsuit was officially reopened in January of 2017. The

Apple Pulls All Withings Accessories From Apple Online Store Following Nokia Lawsuit

In the wake of its legal dispute with Nokia, Apple has pulled all Withings-branded accessories from its online store and presumably from all of its retail stores around the world. Apple appears to have pulled the accessories in the last day or two, eliminating Withings products like the Body Cardio Scale, the Smart Body Analyzer, and the Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor. When searching for these products on Apple's site, they are no longer listed as available for purchase. Apple has stopped offering all Withings products because Withings is owned by Nokia following a spring 2016 purchase worth an estimated $192 million. The Withings brand has been integrated into Nokia's Digital Health unit and is led by Cedric Hutchings, formerly the CEO of Withings. A cached version of the listing for the Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor, no longer available from Apple.com Earlier this week, Apple filed an antitrust lawsuit accusing Nokia and several patent assertion entities of illegally transferring patents to attempt to extort excessive royalty fees from the Cupertino company. Apple had established FRAND (Fair, Reasonable, and Non-Discriminatory) deals with Nokia, but by transferring patents to patent holding companies, additional royalties can be demanded. In response, Nokia filed 40 patent infringement lawsuits against Apple across 11 countries, accusing the Cupertino company of failing to establish licensing deals for Nokia patents that cover displays, user interface, software, antenna, chipsets, and video coding. According to Apple, Nokia has been conspiring

Nokia Sues Apple for Patent Infringement in Germany and the U.S. Following Licensing Disagreement [Updated]

Nokia today announced that it has filed several complaints against Apple in Germany and the United States, accusing the Cupertino company of infringing on Nokia patents. Nokia's lawsuit stems from a disagreement between Apple and Nokia over licensing fees for Nokia technology. Apple this morning filed an antitrust lawsuit against several patent assertion entities that it claims are attempting to collect excessive fees for Nokia patents through lawsuits and royalty demands. According to Apple, Nokia's failing cellphone business has prompted Nokia to transfer patents to patent assertion entities to get out of FRAND (Fair, Reasonable, and Non-Discriminatory) licensing deals it established for essential patents, allowing the company to collect higher royalties. From Apple's complaint:With its cell phone business dying, Nokia began to seek out willing conspirators and to commence its illegal patent transfer scheme in full force; that scheme has continued in full effect to the present. The driving force behind Nokia's strategy was to diffuse its patent portfolio and place it in the hands of PAEs. Acacia and Conversant were its chief conspirators.Nokia's own patent infringement complaint against Apple claims that Apple has declined to establish licensing deals for Nokia technology that is used in Apple products.Ilkka Rahnasto, head of Patent Business at Nokia, said: "Through our sustained investment in research and development, Nokia has created or contributed to many of the fundamental technologies used in today's mobile devices, including Apple products. After several

Apple and OpenTV Enter Patent License Agreement Under Undisclosed Financial Terms

The Kudelski Group today announced that it has "entered into a comprehensive patent license agreement" with Apple, stating that both parties agree to finally dismiss all current and pending patent litigation. The case stems from an original lawsuit back in 2014 that saw software maker OpenTV -- a wholly owned subsidiary of The Kudelski Group -- sue Apple in a German court due to its alleged violation of three streaming video patent violations. OpenTV kept going after Apple throughout the years, with a lawsuit filed in the United States in 2015 that focused on five new patent violations enacted by the Cupertino company, including the claim that iTunes infringes upon one of its patents. Earlier this year, the same German court from the original 2014 case ruled that Apple violated OpenTV's digital streaming patents and was subsequently ordered to cease selling products that included software potentially infringing on OpenTV's patents, namely the iPhone and iPad. OpenTV was founded in 1994 and sees its primary business focused on the creation of operating systems and software for set-top-boxes. The company is currently focused on its broadcast and digital television platform -- also called OpenTV -- that's available as an on-demand video service for users around the world. Although the turmoil between Apple and OpenTV appears to be dying down, the specific financial terms reached between the two companies weren't disclosed in today's