Apple and Qualcomm are currently busy fighting over various patents in the US. The latter won an early round back in June, but the former is now making a comeback with a big strategic victory thanks to a huge mistake the chipmaker made.
Foss Patents reports that the case is currently at the pre-trial period which decides what is and isn’t allowed as evidence in the main trial. Apple asked the court to accept that some Qualcomm patents were invalid or were not infringed by it at all.
Qualcomm vs Apple
Strangely enough, Qualcomm didn’t try to fight this claim. It chose not to file counterclaims, preventing it from arguing those charges against Apple in the future. Qualcomm then changed its mind and tried to present expert testimony to prove its point.
Apple said it was too late for this and the judge agreed. He seemed pretty annoyed with the way Qualcomm was behaving, telling the company it’ll “be held accountable for the consequences of its tactical decisions.”
It’s unclear what made Qualcomm commit this blunder in the first place. The judge noted that the brand avoided certain discovery obligations by declining to press counterclaims. Some have suggested it’s trying to hide something, but later realized the error of its ways.
Of course, Qualcomm hasn’t lost the case yet. It’ll still be allowed to argue over patents covering essential technology. If a patent is classified as ‘essential,’ then the owner must license it on FRAND (Fair, Reasonable And Non-Discriminatory) rules.
Apple says Qualcomm is ignoring these rules and charging an exorbitant amount for these standard-essential patents. Things have gotten so bad that the former isn’t using any of the latter’s modem chips in its 2018 iPhones, choosing Intel instead.