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Apple Fires Back at Qualcomm in Countersuit
By Mike Freeman
Posted: November 30, 2017 10:03am PST

Apple upped the ante in its legal feud with Qualcomm over patent royalties on Wednesday by accusing the San Diego company of infringing on eight Apple patents related to extending battery life in smartphones.

The iPhone maker made the claims in an amended filing in U.S. District Court in San Diego. Apple contends that Qualcomm's Snapdragon 800 and Snapdragon 820 chips infringe on Apple patents related to supplying power only where it is needed, supplying power only to the level needed and enabling quick powering up and down.

In the filing Wednesday, Apple says its work on power management technology pre-dates the iPhone and includes innovations borne out on general purpose computers.

The Snapdragon 800 and Snapdragon 820 smartphone processors are previous generation chips used to power mostly Android smartphones made by companies such as LG, Sony and Samsung. The current generation of Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835 processors are not named in the amended complaint.

Apple designs its own applications processor for iPhones.

Apple has been battling Qualcomm in court over the patent royalties it charges for its portfolio of cellular patents. It sued Qualcomm in January in San Diego federal court.

This summer, Qualcomm asked the U.S. International Trade Commission to ban the import of certain iPhone models on the grounds that they infringe on Qualcomm's patents related to power management and extended battery life.

At the same time, it filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Apple in San Diego federal court.

Apple countered that Qualcomm's patents were invalid and that it didn't infringe on them -- a common move in patent infringement cases. Now Apple has added allegations that Qualcomm is infringing on Apple patents, which is also common in such cases.

Qualcomm has yet to respond to a request for comment.

In the amended filing on Wednesday, Apple wrote that Qualcomm asserts "weak patents that nibble at the edges of the smartphone platform and cover concepts that Apple simply does not use."

Qualcomm has faced a barrage of headwinds this year. In addition to its dispute with Apple, the company also has been hit with lawsuits and fines by antitrust regulators in Korea, Taiwan and the U.S.

In addition, chip maker Broadcom is pursuing a takeover of the company that could become hostile. Qualcomm's board rejected a $70 per share offer earlier this month. The deadline for Broadcom to submit an alternative slate of candidates to Qualcomm's board of directors is Dec. 8.


© 2017 San Diego Union-Tribune. Syndicated here under contract with YellowBrix, Inc. All rights reserved.
 

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