Apple seeking to have four Qualcomm patents invalidated

Apple is now challenging four key patents as part of its ongoing legal battles with Qualcomm, Bloomberg reports. Specifically, Apple has filed petitions asking the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to cancel four Qualcomm patents, claiming that the ideas that they cover aren’t new and therefore cannot be patented. All four are part of a patent-infringement lawsuit that Qualcomm filed against Apple last year in response to a patent royalty lawsuit initiated by Apple. The fight predominantly centers around whether the royalty fees that Qualcomm is demanding are excessive, and multiple hearings are already either scheduled or underway in the U.S., China, and Germany.

The specific patents that Apple is challenging include methods for automatically focusing a digital camera, creating a device that functions as both a phone and a personal digital assistance, and patents concerning touch-sensitive displays and circuit memory. Bloomberg notes that Apple has frequently used the Patent Trial and Appeal Board to seek to invalidate patents that it’s being sued for infringing, as the board has an easier legal standard than courts do. According to the patent office, Apple has filed a total of 398 petitions challenging patents. Apple’s petition will be reviewed by three judges with the board, who will determine whether it should move on to a formal review, a process that could take up to a year.

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