Apple tells court Qualcomm chip licenses are invalid

Thursday, 22 Jun, 2017

Apple in an amended lawsuit filed with the U.S. federal court in San Diego has accused Qualcomm of overcharging for access to its patents of wireless and connectivity chips.

"As Apple recently acknowledged, it is rarely first to market with any new technology, which shows it is relying heavily on the R&D investments in the most revolutionary technologies by companies like Qualcomm".

Qualcomm, meanwhile, has clearly said that the iPhone wouldn't exist were it not for key cellular communications technologies that the company had developed, and agreed to license to Apple.

Bloomberg reported this morning that Apple returned fire, saying in a legal filing that evidence increasingly indicated Qualcomm's business model is "illegal".

Apple's battle with Qualcomm is showing no signs of calming down.

In an amended complaint, filed at the US District Court for the Southern District of California on Tuesday, June 20, Apple said the Qualcomm patents should be "rendered obvious" by other patents. It said it was prepared to pay a fair royalty fee but doesn't believe the current terms are reasonable.

Apple directed its suppliers to stop paying Qualcomm, which in turn asked a United States court to order those payments be made.

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Apple aims to break Qualcomm's technology licensing business model, which would cut its iPhone supply costs.

The U.S. Supreme Court made it harder for manufacturers and drug companies to control how their products are used or resold, ruling in May against printer company Lexmark International Inc in a patent dispute over another company's resale of its used ink cartridges. The court found that Lexmark couldn't sue for patent infringement once it sold a toner cartridge to a retail buyer because it had exhausted its patent rights with the sale.

According to Apple, these royalties were excessive and unfair.

There's no dispute that Qualcomm revolutionized how mobile devices communicate, enabling the transformation of phones into devices that can be used to watch movies, surf the web and play video games.

Qualcomm's response to Apple's latest filing says that Apple wouldn't even have been able to make an iPhone without its patented technology, reports CNET. "Today it amounts to a scheme of extortion that allows Qualcomm unfairly to maintain and entrench its existing monopoly".

The San Francisco-based company he co-founded in 2009 has been trying to reverse damage done to its reputation by revelations of sexual harassment in its offices, allegations of trade secrets theft and an investigation into efforts to mislead government regulators.