Qualcomm Fires Back at Apple’s Patent Royalties Lawsuit

Qualcomm Fires Back at Apple’s Patent Royalties Lawsuit

iPhone modem chipmaker Qualcomm has fired back at Apple’s claims in their $1 billion lawsuit that alleges the chipmaker has been “charging royalties for technologies they have nothing to do with.” Qualcomm says the iPhone maker’s allegations are “baseless,” and accuses Apple of provoking regulatory attacks in both the U.S. and South Korea.

Qualcomm Fires Back at Apple Patent Royalties Lawsuit
Apple says Qualcomm overcharged them for royalties on many of these parts.


“While we are still in the process of reviewing the complaint in detail, it is quite clear that Apple’s claims are baseless,” Qualcomm executive VP and general counsel Don Rosenberg said in a press release. “Apple has intentionally mischaracterized our agreements and negotiations, as well as the enormity and value of the technology we have invented, contributed and shared with all mobile device makers through our licensing program.”

“We welcome the opportunity to have these meritless claims heard in court where we will be entitled to full discovery of Apple’s practices and a robust examination of the merits,” Rosenberg said.

Rosenberg claimed Apple has been “actively encouraging” investigations by both the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the Korean Fair Trade Commission “by misrepresenting facts and withholding information.”

The KFTC concluded an investigation in December, issuing an $853 million fine against Qualcomm, saying it bundled chip orders and licensing deals, was too restrictive with licensing, and also avoided making payments for patents held by others.

After filing their lawsuit on Friday, Apple released a statement to CNBC:

“For many years Qualcomm has unfairly insisted on charging royalties for technologies they have nothing to do with. The more Apple innovates with unique features such as TouchID, advanced displays, and cameras, to name just a few, the more money Qualcomm collects for no reason and the more expensive it becomes for Apple to fund these innovations. Qualcomm built its business on older, legacy, standards but reinforces its dominance through exclusionary tactics and excessive royalties. Despite being just one of over a dozen companies who contributed to basic cellular standards, Qualcomm insists on charging Apple at least five times more in payments than all the other cellular patent licensors we have agreements with combined.

To protect this business scheme Qualcomm has taken increasingly radical steps, most recently withholding nearly $1B in payments from Apple as retaliation for responding truthfully to law enforcement agencies investigating them.

Apple believes deeply in innovation and we have always been willing to pay fair and reasonable rates for patents we use. We are extremely disappointed in the way Qualcomm is conducting its business with us and unfortunately after years of disagreement over what constitutes a fair and reasonable royalty we have no choice left but to turn to the courts.”

Both Apple and the FTC claim the chipmaker forced Apple into an exclusive chip deal in 2011 – 2016, making it a condition of rebates.