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Qualcomm in Fresh Dispute with Apple over Infringing Products

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There appears to be a never ending legal battle between Apple and Qualcomm. In January, Apple filed two lawsuits against Qualcomm.

Firstly, it claimed that Qualcomm abused its power by charging excessive royalties. This legal tussle ended in favour of Apple as the lawsuit and similar actions of regulators all over the world challenged Qualcomm business practices of calculating its royalties as a percentage of the value of the entire phone when it only provided the mobile chip components. This threat further led to a plunge in Qualcomm’s stock by 16% this year.  Secondly, Apple accused the chip maker of breaching an agreement between the two companies. Qualcomm allegedly denied  Apple the access to chip technologies it was entitled to use under the terms of a licensing deal.

The BBC reports that “ the latest disagreement concerns six patents relating to energy saving feature on the iPhone, which Qualcomm says Apple has used without permission”. The chip maker affirmed the present situation in a press release:

“Qualcomm incorporated (Nasdaq: QCOM) today announced that it is filing a complaint with the United States International Trade  Commission (ITC) alleging that Apple has engaged in the unlawful importation and sale of iPhones that infringe one or more claims of six Qualcomm patents covering key technologies that enable important features and functions in iPhones…”

The chip maker further requested to issue an order to ban the importation of I phones and other products in the United States to stop Apple from benefitting from the use of Qualcomm’s technology.

In a response to the lawsuit, Apple referred the BBC to a  previous statement against the chip maker insisting that that their business practices are a danger to the society. It accused the chip maker of innovation theft. They supplied Apple with a single component but demanded a percentage of the entire cost of phone production. Apple said further: “We believe deeply in the value of intellectual property but we shouldn’t have to pay them for technology breakthroughs they have nothing to do with”

Don Rosenberg, Qualcomm’s general counsel said in an interview: “If Apple was a willing licensee and Apple was, like everybody else, willing to pay what they use, we wouldn’t be suing them on these patents. But they are not, and we felt we were put in a position, given all the lawsuits they’ve brought against us around the world, of not simply having defend ourselves but having to take some affirmative action ourselves.”

As explicated in the press release, an investigation will commence in August and the case will be tried next year.

Featured image: Financial Express

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