Apple's challenge to Qualcomm failed again

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday again refused to hear Apple's request to "cancel three of Qualcomm's smartphone patents". The U.S. Supreme Court has preserved the lower court's ruling against Apple after a lower court similarly rejected Apple's appeal in June challenging two other Qualcomm patent-related cases.

In 2017, Qualcomm sued Apple in San Diego federal court, arguing that its iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch infringed its mobile technology patents. The case is part of a broader global dispute between the two tech giants.

Apple's Patent Trial and Appeal Board at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office challenged the validity of the patents involved in the case. The two companies have largely stopped fighting in 2019 and signed a multibillion-dollar deal to keep Apple using Qualcomm baseband chips in iPhones. The agreement includes Apple's licensing of thousands of Qualcomm patents but allows patent committee litigation to continue.

The committee upheld Qualcomm's patents in 2020, and Apple appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on the grounds that Qualcomm could use it again after the license expires (as early as 2025), and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the lack of Eligibility grounds dismissed the case, arguing that the risk of Apple being sued again was speculative.

Qualcomm again argued that Apple did not show specific harm to justify the appeal, as it did in the "substantially identical" case dismissed by the high court.

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