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Apple Has Lost a ‘Star Witness’ in the Qualcomm Trial

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Apple and Qualcomm have been at odds for quite some time already. but the legal trial between the two companies only just recently kicked off.

And already Apple has been dealt a blow. As was first reported on Thursday by CNET, Apple has lost a “star witness” in former engineer Arjuna Siva. Siva, according to Apple, is a co-inventor of one of the patents that’s tied to the patent trial between Qualcomm and Apple. (There are three patents being disputed now in total.) Apple also alleges that Qualcomm did not give Siva credit for that co-inventor role at the time.

Unsurprisingly, Qualcomm does not share that worldview:

“Stephen Haenichen, Qualcomm’s director of engineering and one of the inventors listed on the patent, denied the allegation. When asked what contribution Siva made, he replied, “Nothing at all.”

Now, as it stands, Siva does not appear to be willing to testify at all in the court proceedings. However, if subpoenaed, Siva would in that case. Except that Apple does not plan on going down that road, because, according to Apple’s lawyer, Siva is now a “tainted witness”. Qualcomm’s defense lead did not take kindly to that statement, and the allegation that Siva has been the recipient of witness tampering:

“Qualcomm’s counsel, David Nelson of Quinn Emanuel, vigorously denied the accusation, getting animated as he addressed Sabraw. “I don’t get angry very often,” he said. “I lead this team. I consider this a personal attack.”

The legal battle between the two companies started after Apple complained to the FTC about Qualcomm’s unfair business practices and sued it for withholding $1 billion in royalty rebates. Since then, both companies have sued them in multiple countries, with Qualcomm managing to win a sales ban on selected iPhone models in China and Germany. However, the win came using other software patents related to the UI/UX behavior.

So, things are still quite contentious between the two companies. Who ever would have guessed that, right?

[via CNET]

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