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02.13.17

The Only Firm That Makes Tons of Money Out of ‘Smart’ Phones Without Lifting a Finger is Qualcomm With Its Patents

Posted in Apple, Patents, Samsung at 2:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Apple has still not managed to convert its patents into a cash cow and a barrier to Android takeover

Qualcon

Summary: Apple and Samsung are still losing money in court (lawyers are paid ad infinitum) and the only firm that gets away with a lot of money is Qualcomm, Microsoft’s patent trolling notwithstanding

PATENTS in the area of mobile technology have become a hefty tax that raises the price of phones to incredible levels. Some of these patents — but not all — are software patents and many are standard-essential (SEPs), so they cannot be worked around. We recently wrote about this in the context of Qualcomm. “Apple may have paid Qualcomm approx. $40 per iPhone,” Florian Müller wrote the other day, and it “accounted for third of Qualcomm’s revenues…”

“If you consider some of it speculative, that’s fine, but someone has to do the job of trying to infer and deduce information even in the early stages of a dispute.”
      –Florian Müller
This became a blog post of his (after he had ranted on the subject)), in which he stated: “At the end of my previous post on Qualcomm’s business model I wrote I would follow up with an analysis of the economic magnitude of the various antitrust investigations and civil complaints concerning Qualcomm’s two mutually-reinforcing business areas, baseband processor chipsets and wireless standard-essential patent licensing. While it will probably take a while before a publicly-accessible court filing by either Qualcomm or Apple makes reference to a particular damages claim or royalty rate, some information is already available and I’ll take the liberty of connecting some dots. If you consider some of it speculative, that’s fine, but someone has to do the job of trying to infer and deduce information even in the early stages of a dispute.”

A separate post of his deals with Apple’s case against Samsung getting “back to where things started” — an issue that Professor Dennis Crouch too has covered as follows:

In a non-precedential decision, the Federal Circuit has remanded this design patent damages dispute back to the district court reconsideration. The basic question is whether the patented “article of manufacture” (which serves as the basis for profit disgorgment) should be the entire article sold to consumers or some component of that whole. A patentee would obviously prefer the whole-article basis because it would result in a greater total-profit award. In Samsung Elecs. Co. v. Apple Inc., 137 S. Ct. 429 (2016), the Supreme Court held that the statute is broad enough to encompass either the entire-article or simply a component. However, the Court refused to provide any guidance as to how to determine the appropriate basis in any particular case (including this case involving Apple’s iPhone design patents).

There have been some reports about this in the press. It shows that half a decade later Apple is still not making much progress in its patent war against Android (only the lawyers are winning). Apple is now relying on fake news to keep up appearances and give an illusion of growth.

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