US: Patent office to enter Qualcomm fight

The US Federal Trade Commission has agreed with Apple’s view of Qualcomm licensing practices, and a trial over the government’s antitrust case is in its second week in San Jose, California, reported Bloomberg.

The US Patent and Trademark Office has decided to wade into a global licensing battle between Apple and Qualcomm, with billions of dollars at stake.

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board agreed to consider the validity of two Qualcomm patents, according to notices posted on its electronic docket Tuesday, January 15. Apple and ally Intel  had claimed the patents didn’t cover new inventions and the board conducted a preliminary analysis to determine if Apple had a “reasonable likelihood” of winning its argument. The Board will hear arguments from both sides and issue a final decision in about a year.

Apple and Qualcomm are locked in a worldwide dispute over licensing fees for use of Qualcomm’s technology. Apple has argued its former supplier unfairly leverages its position as the biggest supplier of chips for smartphones to force payment. Qualcomm has countered that Apple is using its intellectual property without paying for it, and the legal cases are aimed at forcing it to reduce licensing charges.

Full Content: Bloomberg

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