Research

Apple claims Qualcomm's Snapdragon processors use their patented technology

Apple claims Qualcomm's Snapdragon processors use their patented technology

The latest skirmish came Wednesday morning when Apple filed a countersuit to a claim filed by Qualcomm in July alleging that Apple had infringed Qualcomm patents that help extend mobile phone battery life.

The patents specifically involve things like improving sleep and wake functions, turning off parts of the processor when they aren't needed and ensuring that each aspect of a phone's processor draws the minimum amount of power needed, all of which lead to improved battery life.

Apple has denied the claims that it violated Qualcomm's battery life patents and alleged that Qualcomm's patents were invalid, a common move in such cases.

It's been a quiet couple of weeks for Qualcomm and Apple, so we really should have expected another chapter in the courtroom tale.

Now, according to court documents, Apple has amended its response to include suing Qualcomm for using patents giving juice wherever and at whatever level is needed, plus starting and shutting down quickly. Apple claimed in that suit that it "has been overcharged billions of dollars on Qualcomm's illegal scheme", although the suit seeks damages of just less than $1 billion.

More news: ESPN laying off roughly 150 employees in company's latest payroll purge

One interpretation of this would be that Apple was willing to let the infringements slide until Qualcomm made its claims against Apple.

In January, Apple sued Qualcomm for almost $1 billion in patent royalty rebates that Qualcomm allegedly withheld from Apple.

In June, a federal judge ruled that an FTC antitrust lawsuit against Qualcomm can proceed. The company also called Qualcomm's lawsuit "a blatant effort to take credit for the innovation of others".

More recently, Qualcomm was fined a record $773 million by Taiwan's Fair Trade Commission for antitrust violations.