US Supreme Court refuses to hear Apple’s appeal on Qualcomm patents

Qualcomm requests that justices reject the appeal

US Supreme Court refuses to hear Apple’s appeal on Qualcomm patents

On 27 June, the US Supreme Court declined to hear Apple’s bid to cancel two Qualcomm patents.

The iPhone maker has argued that Qualcomm could bring legal pressure again after the settlement ends, but the appeal on said settlement was turned away, Reuters reports.

During a 2017 case, Qualcomm sued Apple in San Diego federal court with claims that products from iPads to Apple Watches were infringing on Qualcomm’s patents. The litigation was settled in 2019 with the signing of a licensing agreement allowing use of Qualcomm chips in iPhones, in addition to a license to use thousands of Qualcomm patents.

Power of the patent

Apple aimed to appeal this last year through the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, but the patent law specialist dismissed this. Apple has since stated to the Supreme Court that it is at risk of litigation after the expiration of the agreement in 2025 – or 2027 if extended – noting Qualcomm’s "history of aggressively enforcing its patents".

Countering this, Qualcomm has requested that justices reject the appeal with claims that Apple has not shown any proper legal standing. The chipmaker recently won a four-year battle against a $1 billion fine.

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