Apple Claims a Former Engineer Co-Invented Technology in Qualcomm Patent Case

The second day of Qualcomm’s patent trial against Apple involves a single patent related to fast boot-up technology in smartphones.

Apple’s latest court battle with Qualcomm began on Monday, with the former suing the latter over three patents, upon which it alleges the iPhone infringed. Yesterday, Apple argued for one of the three patents in question, claiming that one of its engineers should be credited.

According to a new report from CNET, Apple is claiming that one of its former engineers played an essential role in inventing the technology that Qualcomm went ahead and patented and believes Apple has infringed upon.

“Apple said the concept behind the patent, which allows a smartphone to connect to the internet quickly once the device boots up, was proposed by Arjuna Siva, who worked for Apple before the 2011 release of the first iPhone that used a Qualcomm chip,” reads the report. “Apple, which said Siva should be named on the patent, argued the point on the second day of a trial in a San Diego federal court.”

“Does Qualcomm believe in giving credit where credit is due?” Apple’s counsel, Joseph Mueller of Wilmer Hale, asked Monday.

Qualcomm would go on to patent that technology itself, without listing Siva as a co-inventor, says Apple. Siva, who now works at Google, is set to testify later this week.

According to Stephen Haenichen, Qualcomm’s director of engineering and one of the inventors listed on the patent in question, said Siva doesn’t deserve any credit for the invention. When he was asked what contribution Siva made in the development of the technology, Haenichen responded, “Nothing at all,” adding that Qualcomm delivered on a tall order to build modem technology on short notice.

“It was clear this was going to change the way we build modems,” Haenichen said. “It was going to be meaningful to Qualcomm.”

The lawsuit, which began Monday, is the first action in the long-running struggle between the two companies to involve a U.S. jury. In early 2017, Apple sued San Diego-based Qualcomm, claiming the company was unfairly squeezing Apple in its latest negotiations, by requiring the company buy chips, and simultaneously pay licensing fees to use the technology inside the chips.