The Apple-Qualcomm patent feud expands to the Snapdragon processor

Apple and Qualcomm are not letting up in their legal feud. In response to Qualcomm's patent and royalties suit in July, Apple has countersued, saying that the Snapdragon mobile processor infringes on its battery life patents. The two companies started to go at it when Apple filed a $1 billion suit against the chipmaker in January.

The July suit by Qualcomm alleged that Apple was using several patents that helped improve battery life. Apple denied the claims, but then today amended its response with the countersuit, saying that the iPhone maker owns eight battery life patents of its own that Qualcomm's Snapdragon chip infringes on. It specifically named the Snapdragon 800 and 820 chips, currently used in a variety of Android smartphones.

“Apple began seeking those patents years before Qualcomm began seeking the patents it asserts against Apple in this case,” the company said in its counterclaim. The company is seeking unspecified damages from the U.S. District Court in San Diego.

Legal experts suspect that all of the legal shenanigans will end up with the two eventually renegotiating the royalties Apple and its contractors pay to Qualcomm for existing patent licenses, which first prompted the $1 billion suit. Qualcomm itself has gotten into hot water with the Federal Trade Commission for unfair practices and antitrust issues, and was fined $774 million by the Taiwanese Fair Trade Commission for similar violations.

The ongoing court battle has also hurt Qualcomm's bottom line, losing about 90% in profit in Q4 over last year. It has also had to deal with an unsolicited $130 billion buyout bid from Broadcom, which it has already rejected.

Source: Reuters

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