Every manufacturer of any component that is used to build smartphones is dreaming about working with Apple. True, the Cupertino giant uses its own chipsets (such as the Apple A10 Fussion), but the communication chip, which includes the LTE modem, comes from an external provider. This is where Qualcomm is among others. However, it is a mobile market mogul who is not afraid of legal battles with Apple and is fighting for the protection of its patents.
Qualcomm is well-known from its Snapdragon chipset series that power the most powerful smartphones on the Android market. People appreciate these layouts because of the powerful processors that guarantee fast application launch and high performance in games. However, they are actually SoC (System on Chip) chips that have all the necessary subsystems integrated. One of the most important are: LTE modem, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and battery charging and power management. It is here that Qualcomm sees violations of its patents.
Qualcomm accuses Apple of illegally using 6 patents in iPhone mobiles.
Patent law has a pretty interesting idea. The applicant has a guaranteed protection of his or her intellectual property for a limited period but must instead share it with the public. Therefore, companies employ people who are specialized in filing patent applications. Their task is to make sure that the description of the invention is complete but does not contain details that would allow competition to duplicate the idea. However, there are also people who specialize in the so-called reverse engineering. Such specialists are able to design a system that will behave almost identically to another product. It is possible that Apple has exactly matched Qualcomm’s solution.
There are patent solutions that extend the battery life of the smartphone.
Qualcomm is very precise at this point, the claim concerns patents:
- U. S. Patent No. 8,633,936 – enables high performance and rich visual graphics for games while increasing a mobile device’s battery life,
- U. S. Patent No. 8,698,558 – extends battery life by building intelligence into the system so the antenna is always using just the right amount of battery power to transmit, whether it be video, text, or voice,
- U. S. Patent No. 8,487,658 – maximizes smartphone performance while extending battery life by connecting high voltage circuits and low voltage circuits with efficient interfaces.,
- U. S. Patent No. 8,838,949 – enables “flashless boot” which allows your smartphone to connect to the internet quickly after being powered on, while extending battery life and reducing memory size,
- U. S. Patent No. 9,535,490 – enables the applications on your smartphone to get their data to and from the internet quickly and efficiently by acting as a smart “traffic cop” between the apps processor and the modem,
- U. S. Patent No. 9,608,675 – enables a mobile device to send high speed data such as live video from your phone by combining many lanes of traffic into a data super-highway while prolonging battery life.
Qualcomm has filed with the International Trade Commission of the United States to verify patent infringement and ban the iPhone from being shipped to the United States with a ban on their sale. Will this happen? I honestly doubt it. The most likely scenario is that both companies will come to (financial) agreement.