Apple Inc is suing Qualcomm for “charging royalties for technologies they have nothing to do with;” something that the telecom chip maker explicitly denies. This suit, though, comes on the heels of unfair patent licensing practices charges from the United States Federal Trade Commission, earlier this week. And, last month, the South Korean anti-trust regulator fined Qualcomm for a record-high $865 million for anti-competitive patent licensing.
According to the lawsuit, Apple alleges that Qualcomm has taken many “radical steps” which include (but is not limited to) “withholding nearly $1 billion in payments from Apple as retaliation for responding truthfully to law enforcement agencies investigating them.”
Apple also notes, “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.”
The company has also commented: “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.”
Of course, Qualcomm argues that none of this is the case at all. As a matter of face, Qualcomm General Counsel Don Rosenberg called Apple’s allegations completely “baseless.”
He remarks, too, that the company has claimed, in the past, that its 3G and 4G cellular patents are, in essence, what allows for smartphones to do what it is we need them to do. And, thus, the royalties the company has been charging for these essential pieces of technology for that last two decades are beyond unreasonable.
Accordingly, Rosenberg argues, “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. Apple has been actively encouraging regulatory attacks on Qualcomm’s business in various jurisdictions around the world, as reflected in the recent KFTC decision and FTC complaint, by misrepresenting facts and withholding information.”