Qualcomm opens European front in patent war with Apple

Ivan Schwartz
July 19, 2017

Apple's iPhone manufacturers, which include Compal, Hon Hai Precision, Pegatron Corp., and Wistron Corp., called Qualcomm's suit against them "yet another chapter of Qualcomm's anticompetitive scheme to dominate modem chip markets, extract supracompetitive royalties, and break its commitments to license its cellular technology on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms".

The Tame Apple Press is reporting that there have been four new complaints about Qualcomm's antitrust activities and citing this as proof that Apple is right and Qualcomm is evil.

Qualcomm alleges that it has six patents developed in the past four years that improve battery life in mobile devices and that 'Apple uses these technologies in its devices but is not paying for them'.

The accusations were made in a filing in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. And this time, Qualcomm is on the receiving end of the shot.

Foxconn parent Hon Hai Precision Industry Co, Wistron Corp, Compal Electronics Inc and Pegatron Corp alleged that Qualcomm violated two sections of the Sherman Act, a US antitrust law. The companies are making counter claims against a Qualcomm suit brought in May, in which the chip maker is looking to force the contractors to pay licensing fees Apple has told them to stop paying.

In the US cases, Qualcomm is targeting imports of iPhones containing cellular baseband processors (the chips that handle radio communications) other than those supplied by its affiliates.

Qualcomm recently turned to the US International Trade Commission to ask for an injunction against the import of certain iPhone models that it claims infringe some of its latest patents.

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'Qualcomm has confirmed publicly that this lawsuit against our clients is meant to make a point about Apple and punish our clients for working with Apple, ' Theodore J. Boutrous, a lawyer for the four companies, said in a statement.

Apple sued Qualcomm alleging that the company had withheld almost $1 billion of patent licence rebates it owed Apple in retaliation for Apple's cooperation with South Korean regulators.

The Qualcomm CEO stated during the interview that his company is still open to ending the lawsuit in a settlement.

"Apple continues to use Qualcomm's technology while refusing to pay for it", said Don Rosenberg, executive vice president and general counsel of Qualcomm.

The dispute first surfaced in January when Apple filed a lawsuit accusing Qualcomm of overcharging it billions of dollars as part of illegal business practices. Four Apple contractors say Qualcomm has violated the Sherman Antitrust Act as part of an ongoing legal dispute between Qualcomm and Apple.

Apple earlier this year filed alleging Qualcomm abused its market dominance to demand unfair royalties.

Other reports by GizPress

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