Less than 24 hours following Apple’s lawsuit against Qualcomm claiming the latter’s Snapdragon processors infringe upon its patents, the chip maker has now retaliated by lodging another patent lawsuit against the Cupertino giant.
Filed with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, the complaint alleges Apple violated five Qualcomm patents covering some of the technologies in the new iPhone 8 and iPhone X models, including image enhancement using depth-based data, radio frequency transceivers, power efficiency in mobile processors and device power management.
These are the patents Apple is apparently in infringement of:
- 9,154,356—Covering low noise amplifiers for carrier aggregation
- 9,473,336—Covering radio front-end having multiple low-noise amplifier modules
- 8,063,674—Covering multiple supply-voltage power-up/down detectors
- 7,693,002—Covering dynamic word line drivers and decoders for memory arrays
- 9,552,633—Covering depth aware enhancement for stereo video
The last patent targets Portrait and Portrait Lighting modes on all dual-lens models, including iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X. The filing also claims Apple’s A10 Fusion chip that powers the iPhone 7 series is in infringement of the patents 8,063,674 and 7,693,002.
The filing contends Qualcomm invented many core technologies that make iPhone and other smartphones and mobile devices “desirable” to consumers in their daily lives.
Apple has built the most profitable company in the world, thanks in large part to products that rely on Qualcomm’s patented technologies. With a market capitalization of more than $700 billion, $246 billion in cash reserves, and a global sphere of influence, Apple has more money and more influence than many countries.
Relying heavily on Qualcomm technology and technology Qualcomm has acquired, Apple has become the dominant player in mobile device sales.
There’s no denying that Apple products rely significantly on Qualcomm technologies.
“Apple is the world’s most profitable seller of mobile devices,” reads another passage in the filing. “Its iPhones and other products enjoy enormous commercial success. But without the innovative technology covered by Qualcomm’s patent portfolio, Apple’s products would lose much of their consumer appeal.”
The chip maker seeks an injunction against infringing devices, plus unspecified damages and fees.
This legal fight between Apple and Qualcomm over smartphone royalties and cellular baseband technologies is getting uglier and uglier. Qualcomm has not commented on the matter—they even didn’t put a press release out announcing their latest complaint.