Qualcomm and Apple begin proceedings in patent lawsuit

The ongoing legal battle between Apple and Qualcomm, the world’s largest maker of mobile chips, has gained momentum this week after both companies met in San Diego, California to begin with case proceedings. Qualcomm, the largest mobile chip provider in the world, has accused Apple of violating three separate technology patents without compensation.

According to Qualcomm, Apple used stolen technology to enhance internet connection, battery life, graphics processing, and data downloads in select versions of the iPhone. Qualcomm is seeking $1.41 per iPhone that included the patented technology, sold between 2017 and 2018. Although an exact amount has not been released, the settlement would likely be tens of millions of dollars.

“Qualcomm, although it doesnt make a smartphone — it doesnt have a product that you and I would buy — it develops a lot of technology in smartphones,” said David Nelson, lead attorney for Qualcomm.

On Monday, both Qualcomm and Apples opening statements centered around the patent for technology that allows smartphones to more quickly connect to the internet after being turned on. While Nelson argued that the technology included in that specific patent was  “foundational” to Qualcomm’s work prior to it being registered, Apple’s counsel claimed that Qualcomm had stolen the idea from a former Apple engineer, Arjuna Siva.

“This one is truly the most outrageous allegation in the case,” said Juanita Brooks, lead counsel for Apple. “They took the idea from us and ran down to the patent office.”

Both companies began quarrelling in 2017, when Apple, the Federal Trade Commission, and Intel accused the chip-maker of becoming a monopoly in the modem chip market. That year, Apple filed an antitrust case against Qualcomm, on the grounds of hastily patenting technology and hiking royalty prices up so competitors could not enter the market.

Since Apple filed the antitrust lawsuit two years ago, numerous patent and licensing countersuits have been thrown back and forth between the two companies. While most of the cases are still ongoing, Qualcomm’s infringement lawsuit against Apple will most likely see a verdict by mid-March.