In the latest development in the ongoing war between chip supplier Qualcomm and Apple, the former has sued four iPhone suppliers for “breaching their license agreements”. The company has already brought charges against Apple itself before.
The whole problem began when the FTC claimed that Qualcomm has, for all practical purposes, given itself a monopoly by threatening to charge Apple higher patent royalties if it sourced baseband processors from other manufacturers.
Apple reacted by suing Qualcomm in several countries including the UK and US. Qualcomm responded in turn with its own lawsuit, attempting to get iPhone imports blocked and claiming that the company’s suppliers were holding back nearly $1 billion in arrears royalties.
Qualcomm refuses to give up even with Samsung siding with Apple.
Reuters has since named the four suppliers as Foxconn, Wistron, Pegatron and Compal Electronics. Qualcomm confirmed yesterday that it has sued the four firms for failure to pay royalties.
According to a statement issued by the chipmaker, all four companies acknowledge they owe money, but Apple has ordered them not to pay. Qualcomm have said: “While not disputing their contractual obligations to pay for the use of Qualcomm’s inventions, the manufacturers say they must follow Apple’s instructions not to pay.”
The chip manufacturer is suing the four firms not only for the payments themselves, but also for additional costs. In addition, Qualcomm wants the court to declare that the amounts are legally payable even if payment is not received immediately.
Don Rosenberg, executive Vice Presdent and general counsel of Qualcomm, had this to say:
“As Apple continues to collect billions of dollars from consumer sales of its Qualcomm-enabled products, it is using its market power as the wealthiest company in the world to try to coerce unfair and unreasonable license terms from Qualcomm in its global attack on the company.”