The legal dispute between Apple and Qualcomm is escalating, as the latter has now filed a countersuit claiming unspecified damages.
For those unfamiliar with the matter, Apple sued Qualcomm earlier this year, alleging that the chipmaker is charging outrageous fees to license its cellular technology. Apple threatened to delay royalty payment, but Qualcomm will not have it.
Qualcomm-Apple Dispute Escalates
On Monday, April 10, Qualcomm filed a countersuit against Apple, striking back at the iMaker and escalating the whole dispute. Qualcomm claims that Apple's litigation is in fact nothing more than a ruse to obtain lower licensing fees.
Don Rosenberg, Qualcomm executive vice president and general counsel, reckons that Apple has played a major role over the past decade in making mobile technology mainstream with its popular devices and services, but it should not belittle Qualcomm's major role in the process.
"Apple could not have built the incredible iPhone franchise that has made it the most profitable company in the world, capturing over 90 percent of smartphone profits, without relying upon Qualcomm's fundamental cellular technologies," Rosenberg explains. "Now, after a decade of historic growth, Apple refuses to acknowledge the well established and continuing value of those technologies. It has launched a global attack on Qualcomm and is attempting to use its enormous market power to coerce unfair and unreasonable terms from Qualcomm."
Consequently, Rosenberg further explains, Qualcomm plans to stand its ground and fight for its right to protect its technology and receive appropriate compensation for the part it played toward advancing the mobile industry.
In a lengthy filing with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, Qualcomm tackled each and every point of Apple's lawsuit from January, refuting 389 claims in total.
"Apple's complaint, and each and every claim stated therein, fails to state a claim on which relief can be granted," notes Qualcomm.
The chipmaker also highlights the value of the technologies it invented, worked on, and licensed to others in the industry, while Apple refuses to engage in reasonable negotiations to license Quacomm's 3G and 4G standard essential patents on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms.
Qualcomm further makes a number of allegations against Apple, accusing the iMaker of breaching and misrepresenting agreements, affecting other agreements Qualcomm had in place with licensees that manufacture Apple's iPhones and iPads, encouraging "regulatory attacks" worldwide that damaged Qualcomm's business by making false statements and mischaracterizing facts, and more.
Qualcomm also claims that with the iPhone 7, Apple chose not to maximize the performance of Qualcomm modem chips and mischaracterized the differences in performance between Qualcomm-powered iPhones and other units packing rival modems. At the same time, Apple threatened Qualcomm to keep it from disclosing the superior performance of iPhones equipped with Qualcomm modems.
Since Apple itself breached the agreements it had in place with Qualcomm, its claims of breach of contract are null, Qualcomm further adds in its countersuit. Moreover, since Apple has not suffered any harm, antitrust, tangible injury or anything of the sort, it should not be entitled to damages, Qualcomm alleges.
On the other hand, Qualcomm is seeking damages, legal fees, and unspecified compensatory, punitive, and restitutionary damages from Apple, including those tied to breach of contract, unfairly retained payments, and unjust business practices.