Displaying items by tag: infringement

Apple, Broadcom trialed for patent infringement

Written on Thursday, 30 January 2020 07:53

A Los Angeles jury ordered Apple and Broadcom to pay $1.1 billion to a university in California for infringing on four Wi-Fi technology patents. Apple was ordered to pay $837 million and Broadcom must pay $270 million to the California Institute of Technology, in what is thought to be one of the largest patent verdicts ever.

Caltech University had sued both tech giants in 2016, alleging that Apple products including iPhones, iPads and Apple Watches used Broadcom components that infringed on Caltech patents related to wireless data transmissions. Both Apple and Broadcom indicated they planned to appeal the verdict.

“As a nonprofit institution of higher education, Caltech is committed to protecting its intellectual property in furtherance of its mission to expand human knowledge and benefit society through research integrated with education”, the university said.

In court documents, Apple and Broadcom had said that Caltech's claims “are based solely on the incorporation of allegedly infringing Broadcom chips in Apple's iPhone, Mac, and other devices.”

“Broadcom manufactures the accused chips, while Apple is merely an indirect downstream party whose products incorporate the accused chips,” according to court filings. “Accordingly, the claims that Caltech has against Apple depend on establishing that the accused Broadcom chips infringe the patents and that the patents-in-suit are not invalid.”

Broadcom was the main target of the lawsuit but Apple was also named as it is one of Broadcom's biggest customers.

Published in Finance

Apple and US chipmaker Qualcomm will resume their long-running feud as a new court case between the two titans of American enterprise begins in San Diego next week.

The two companies have been embroiled in a bitter row over patent licensing practices for the best part of two years. Last month, a Californian jury ruled in favour of Qualcomm and awarded the company $31m after it found that Apple’s iPhone 7, 7 Plus, 8 and 8 Plus and X infringed two patents.

Apple has expressed its confidence that this new lawsuit in San Diego will rule in their favour as they seek damages of up to $27bn after accusing its one-time supplier of engaging in patent license practices that amounted to double-dipping.

Qualcomm on the other hand are claiming that the US technology behemoth forced some of it business partners to stop paying the company royalties and is seeking $15bn in damages.

The initial lawsuit was filed by Apple back in 2017, which forced the US chipmaker to counter-sue the iPhone maker and winning bans on the sale of some iPhone models in some markets for patent violations.

Qualcomm charges its customers for the chips themselves and also adds on patent licensing charges. It asks customers to sign an agreement before supplying any products.

Apple has termed this "no licence, no chips" policy a way of charging twice for the same thing. Along with its business partners, Apple is seeking an end to this practice and a refund of something in the region of US$9 billion.

This amount could be tripled if the jury comes to the conclusion that Apple's anti-trust allegations against Qualcomm are correct. Apple claims Qualcomm's practices kept rivals like Intel - from whom Apple is now sourcing chips - from competing in this sector for a long time.

Companies that are on contract with Apple, such as Foxconn, have paid the royalties to Qualcomm and been reimbursed by Apple. But Apple has pushed some of these firms to violate their contracts and deprive Qualcomm of about US$7 billion in royalties, the chip producer claims.

A victory for Apple will not mean much in terms of money but it would destroy a business model that Qualcomm has used with great success for many years.

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South Korea-based Samsung is fighting a battle with Chinese smartphone manufacturer Huawei over patent deals. Samsung has taken Huawei to court over allegations that Huawei has infringed its patents, seeking $24.1 million in damages. According to Samsung, some of Huawei’s products, such as the Honor lineup and its pricey Mate 8, are illegitimately employing Samsung patents.

This war between the Chinese and Korean tech giants isn’t new. It’s an ongoing battle between Huawei and Samsung, continuing on from May, when Huawei filed lawsuits against Samsung in the United States and China, seeking compensation for alleged unlicensed use of its 4G tech, as well as other unspecified infringements related to its OS and system software.

The aggressive lawsuits, according to a report by Phone Arena, suggest that there is a trend emerging of Chinese technology companies gaining confidence and asserting their intellectual property rights. Shortly after Huawei filed its allegations against Samsung, the Korean company hinted that it would be doing the same against Huawei, which seeks to block Huawei and Beijing Hengtongda Department Store Co. from producing and selling Huawei devices.

In an official e-mail statement, Samsung said: “We have faithfully negotiated with other patent holders for the fair licensing of technology. However, despite our best efforts to resolve this matter amicably, it has regrettably become necessary to take legal action in order to defend our intellectual property.”

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