back to article Apple fanbois ride to the aid of iGiant in patent spat with Qualcomm

Consumers have come to the rescue of plucky little Apple in its ongoing stand-off with Qualcomm over patent infringements. This particular spat is over Qualcomm's attempt to persuade the US International Trade Commission (ITC) to stop Apple importing iPhones that do not contain the chipmaker's radio gear. The sueball was …

  1. Blockchain commentard

    Another excuse to manufacturer iThings in the USA!!!

    That'll please Donald who'll no doubt claim it was down to his brilliance !!

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      re:Another excuse to manufacturer iThings in the USA!!!

      Then sites like this would be able to gloat over how much that i-Tat that is made in USA costs.

      Win-win then?

  2. ExampleOne

    Surely the class has to establish legal standing to take a class action case. Unless these consumers are purchasers of the mobile phone allegedly infringing phone, I'm not sure how they can. The patent monopoly is sort of the intended point of patents.

    If the class IS purchasers of the phone, and if Apple are found to have infringed a Qualcomm patent in those phones, wouldn't that expose the class to a patent infringement counter-suit? It's unusual to sue end-users for patent infringement in these cases, but not unheard of (certain patent trolls engage in this practice). If the consumers really want to start the sue-balls flying...

    1. Semtex451 Silver badge
      Facepalm

      What a time to be a US patent lawyer, I always seem to be in the wrong game, at the wrong time.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe the Donald should have allowed Broadcom to buy Qualcomm... Broadcom seem to have a much better working relationship with Apple.

    1. iron Silver badge

      In what way would having a better working relationship fix the fact that Intel make chips that infringe Qualcomm's patents and Apple put them in their phones? Intel would still be infringing and Apple would still be using these chips and no one would be paying the license fee they are supposed to pay.

  4. Mike Moyle Silver badge

    I think the article is missing some information:

    If the modem chip violates Qualcomm's patent, why is the buyer of the chip being sued instead the chip maker? Unless QC is claiming that the other would never have infringed if Apple hadn't induced them to do so, I'm not sure I see the argument from QC's point of view. (As opposed to the lawyer's POV... I think I know that!)

    Does anyone know offhand if the (allegedly) violated patent is a FRAND case? Being a modem, I'm assuming that it is, but it's unclear -- and, again, I should think that that would be an issue with the modem maker, not the phone maker.

    But, then, IANAL -- so what do *I* know?

    1. Maelstorm Bronze badge

      That was actually my question as well. As someone already mentioned, Qualcomm can go after end-users for licensing fees if they so wish, but that will be very bad PR for them. Assuming that Intel manufactured the LTE modems, shouldn't both be sued? A number of years ago, Qualcomm violated Broadcom's patents and the latter won an ITC ruling that banned the import of devices using the offending chips.

      Besides, Apple and their little spat with Samsung, Apple needs to be brought down a couple of pegs.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        They're going after Apple because that's how the (potentially) infringing chips get into the US. iPhones are being assembled in China (and Brazil now I think, though not the ones imported into the US) so if Intel is manufacturing the chips outside the US they can't ban the import/export of the chips in US courts until they are in the phones.

        Apple has been rumored to be talking to Mediatek, and they've been hiring enough RF engineers the last few years there's speculation they may be designing their own. So it looks like they have other irons in the fire, though those options could present similar problems.

        Apple owns a fair chunk of LTE patents they obtained from Nortel's bankruptcy which you'd think they'd be able to use against Qualcomm to try to block import of phones containing Qualcomm chips - though that would be a rather nuclear option as pretty much no one would be able to import phones into the US if Mediatek was blocked by Qualcomm as well.

        Apple's ultimate goal is to be able to integrate the cellular baseband (whether theirs or a third party's) onto their SoC so they want to find a way to leave Qualcomm.

    2. jelabarre59 Silver badge

      If the modem chip violates Qualcomm's patent, why is the buyer of the chip being sued instead the chip maker?

      Probably because they're less upset about their patent being violated, and more upset Apple is buying from someone ELSE.

  5. Wily Veteran
    Black Helicopters

    Fanbois?

    Why do I smell Astroturf? Maybe it's just my nose.

  6. whoseyourdaddy

    "Apple Fanbois" or ignorant sheep?

    Google for a Bloomberg/Businessweek article titled "Apple and Qualcomm's Billion-Dollar War OVER an $18 Part" and get back to us.

    "Apple owns a fair chunk of LTE patents". Study the concept of "Standard Essential Patents" and get back to us. Those are the patents that Apple and Qualcomm must cross-license.

    Non-SEP patents are exactly what's keeping Apple from a SOC.

    But, by all means, go on then.

    1. Strahd Ivarius
      Trollface

      Re: "Apple Fanbois" or ignorant sheep?

      "Non-SEP patents are exactly what's keeping Apple from a SOC."

      But they got the one on chips with rounded corner...

  7. onefang Silver badge
    Coat

    "The Register has contacted Apple for comment on the consumer action and will update if there is a response."

    I'll get my coat, might be a long wait that involves a certain place freezing.

  8. Scroticus Canis Silver badge
    Happy

    "... naughty children with balls of yellow snow."

    "Watch out where the huskies go, don't you eat that yellow snow."

    (That line triggered a bit of Zappa nostalgia)

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