Apple says Qualcomm stole idea for smartphone boot-up tech from engineer

“Apple and Qualcomm kicked off the latest chapter in a long-running legal battle over patents and licensing agreements in the chipmaker’s hometown of San Diego, California, on Monday,” Richard Nieva reports for CNET.

“Qualcomm, which supplies chips and modems for much of the mobile phone industry, says Apple infringed on three of its patents in some versions of the popular iPhone,” Nieva reports. “The chipmaker wants up to $1.41 per iPhone that infringed on its intellectual property sold during a certain period between 2017 and 2018. The exact figure was not disclosed, though it’s estimated to be in the tens of millions of dollars.”

“During opening remarks, both sides zoomed in on the patent that focuses on boot-up technology when the phone is turned on. [David Nelson, the lead attorney representing Qualcomm] said the technology in the patent was ‘foundational’ to the company’s work, long before it was registered. Apple claims Qualcomm stole the idea for that innovation from then-Apple engineer Arjuna Siva, who the company said discussed the idea with Qualcomm engineers in an email,” Nieva reports. “‘This one is truly the most outrageous allegation in the case,’ Juanita Brooks, lead counsel for Apple, said of the infringement claim in opening statements. ‘They took the idea from us and ran down to the patent office.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Qualcomm is a piece of work alright.

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[Attribution: AppleInsider. Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]


  1. Unfortunately, the U.S. is now a “First to File” country like most of the rest of the world. (The U.S. used to be a “First to Invent” country which most true inventors liked but major corporations hated.) While it may be unethical (and possibly, legally contravene any Non Disclosure Agreement that may exist between Qualcomm and Apple), it is not illegal to hear of an idea and implementation from an outside source and then file for a patent for an implementation of that. As long as the originator has not made the idea and implementation public then it really comes down to “First to File”.

    Apple’s legal team attacking Qualcomm on filing for a patent first is a dumb way to attack this issue. The jurors may side with Apple on ethics, but Qualcomm may have the law on Qualcomm’s side. They way Apple’s crack legal team (extreme sarcasm) needs to attack it is to show that Qualcomm had no legal right to the information as it was under an NDA and thus no legal right to take the information and file for a patent on it. That would invalidate the patent as, in part of the patent process, the inventor must certify that he/she has legal rights to the idea and implementation in order to file for the patent.

    1. But Apple doesn’t want the patent, they just want to invalidate it. By showing prior art, or prior emails, they can invalidate a patent that Qualcomm is trying to use to extract royalties from Apple.

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