Apple Countersues Qualcomm over Battery Saving Patents

Apple has filed a countersuit against Qualcomm alleging that several of the chip-maker’s Snapdragon Systems on a Chip (SoCs), which power a wide range of Android and Windows Phone devices, infringe on its battery patents, according to a Reuters report.

Documents filed with the U.S. District Court in San Diego on Wednesday reveal what appears to be Apple’s “revised response” to Qualcomm’s previous, battery patent infringement complaints lodged against it back in July of this year. Specifically, Apple is now claiming to be the owner of “at least eight” battery life patents which Qualcomm has violated.

Apple asserts that Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 and 820 SoCs — which power a wide range of mobile devices from Samsung, LG, Nokia, HTC, Google and others — infringe on the inherent patents. However none of the aforementioned OEMs are named in the iPhone maker’s complaint.

“The Apple patents involve ensuring each part of a phone’s processor draws only the minimum power needed, turning off parts of the processor when they are not needed and making sleep and wake functions work better,” Reuters said, while Apple, in its official complaint, noted that “Apple began seeking those patents years before Qualcomm began seeking the patents it asserts against Apple in this case.”

Apple is seeking “unspecified damages” from Qualcomm, according to the report.

Interesting and worth pointing out is that back in July, Qualcomm accused Apple of “infringing several battery patents” (mainly covering methods and tools designed to help mobile devices achieve better battery life.) Apple, for its part, denied those initial allegations, firing back at Qualcomm with its usual “those patents are invalid” argument.

Based on the timing and nature of its complaint, however, it would appear that Apple is, in a way, snubbing Qualcomm. In other words: Qualcomm started it, but now Apple is fighting back, with a vengeance as it usually does in these cases.

We’ll just have to wait and see how this case unfolds, as whether Apple’s accusations are even valid remains open for [legal] discussion.

Meanwhile, the complaint is merely the latest spat in Apple and Qualcomm’s contentious and ongoing legal dispute, which has roiled the chip maker on multiple fronts. We’ll spare you the chronological details of where their case has been so far, but if you’re a fan of high-tech and high-stakes legal drama, then we invite you to catch up on all the latest happenings in ‘Apple v. Qualcomm’, and of course, ‘Qualcomm v. Apple’

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