The world’s largest technology company has leveraged the legal judgment of Lexmark vs. Impression Products made by the U.S. Supreme Court into its legal war with a telecommunications company.
According to govtech.com, Apple has made an amendment to the lawsuit with Qualcomm by alleging that Qualcomm has overcharged the license fees of its cellular patents.
Apple’s amended lawsuit relies on the U.S. Supreme Court decision on Lexmark International and Impression Products, whose reemphasizes the principle that patents are “exhausted” after the first sale. The court sided with the retail buyer Impression products, for that they deemed Lexmark’s patent rights exhausted with the sale.
In Apple’s case, the iPhone maker seeks for “restitution of all excessive (patent) license fees that Apple paid” from Qualcomm, the smartphone technology provider.
The amended filing of Apple intends to cut its iPhone supply costs through smashing Qualcomm’s technology licensing business model.
Apple reveals that Qualcomm has occupied the top market share in cellular modems of connecting smartphones to wireless networks. Smartphone makers have to overpay Qualcomm’s patent licenses in fear that the company might cut off their modem supply. Qualcomm also refuses to sell chips to smartphone makers if they do not pay the company’s patent licenses.
In May, as RT Media has reported, the U.S. Supreme Court made judgment that the patent rights of a U.S. product were exhausted when it is sold the first time. Apple relates their case to the above judging result, they argue that Qualcomm should not charge the separate patent licensing fee when the company sells chips to smartphone makers.
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