Apple challenges Qualcomm on patents

Apple is seeking to void some of Qualcomm’s patent claims and licensing agreements, intensifying its legal battle with the chip maker over the technology in iPhones and iPads.

In a federal court filing Tuesday, Apple cited a May Supreme Court ruling that a printer-cartridge maker’s patent rights end with the initial sale of the cartridges. Apple says that ruling bolsters its argument that Qualcomm cannot continue to demand royalties for the patents after selling its cellular chips.

The new court documents expand on a $1 billion lawsuit Apple filed in January in U.S. District Court in San Diego. Qualcomm has disputed Apple’s claims that it is overcharging for patent-related license fees. The chip maker had no immediate comment on the latest filing.

Apple is also seeking to narrow the list of Qualcomm patents covered by its products. In addition, it argues that licensing fees based on a percentage of iPhone and iPad prices are unfair as Qualcomm’s technologies cover a small part of what goes into those devices.

— Associated Press

Uber adds option to tip drivers via app

Uber is letting passengers tip its U.S. drivers with a tap on its ride-hailing app for the first time, part of a push to recast itself as a company with a conscience and a heart.

Besides the built-in tipping option announced Tuesday, Uber is giving drivers an opportunity to make more money in other ways. Riders will be charged by the minute if they keep an Uber car waiting for more than two minutes. Uber also is reducing the time that riders have to cancel a ride to avoid being slapped with a $5 fee from five minutes to two minutes after summoning a driver.

Uber said it won’t take any of the tip money. The San Francisco company will continue to collect part of ride-cancellation fees and the new waiting-time charges.

The tipping option, long available in the app of rival Lyft, will be available beginning Tuesday in Seattle, Houston and Minneapolis. Uber plans to make it a staple in all U.S. cities by the end of July. The other features will roll out in August.

Associated Press

Also in Business

President Trump has nominated Republican lawyer Marvin Kaplan to the government’s board of referees between unions and businesses. If confirmed by the Senate, Kaplan would give Republicans and Democrats two seats each on the five-member National Labor Relations Board. A fifth seat remains empty, but Trump is expected to fill it with another Republican for a GOP majority for the first time since 2007. Kaplan is counsel at the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. Previously, he worked for House Republicans on the education and oversight committees.

Barclays and four former executives were charged with conspiracy to commit fraud during the bank’s 2008 capital raising from Qatar as it sought to avoid a bailout. The Serious Fraud Office said Tuesday that ex-chief executive John Varley and three others face charges along with Barclays. The case relates to the nature of $408 million in fees Barclays paid to the Qatar Investment Authority and a $3 billion loan facility it made available to the nation as part of side deals to the 12 billion-pound fundraising from Qatari and other investors.

Ford said Tuesday that it will move some production of its Focus small cars to China and import the vehicles to the United States in a long-term bet on low oil prices and stable U.S.-China trade relations. Ford called the production shift from Mexico to China, slated in mid-2019, a purely financial move that will save the company $500 million in reduced tooling costs. But Ford also expects to ship about 80,000 vehicles to China this year, including the redesigned Lincoln Navigator going into production this fall at Ford’s Kentucky truck plant. No U.S. jobs will be affected by the shift to China, Ford said.

Seattle’s $15-an-hour minimum-wage law has boosted pay for restaurant workers without costing jobs, according to a new report from the University of California at Berkeley. The study focused on food service jobs, which some critics said could be disproportionately affected if increased wages forced restaurants to cut workers’ hours. Author Michael Reich says that hasn’t been the case.

From news reports

Coming today

10 a.m.: National Association of Realtors releases existing-home sales for May.