Qualcomm insisted its “innovations are at the heart of every iPhone”, as the US chipmaker hit back at Apple in another round of sparring between the warring companies.
In a statement, Qualcomm’s EVP and general counsel Don Rosenberg accused Apple of “distortions” designed to minimise the importance of its technology and misrepresent licensing practices.
He was responding to Apple’s latest legal attack on Qualcomm in a US federal court yesterday.
Apple said licence agreements which gave Qualcomm a cut of every iPhone manufactured were invalid, while accusing the company of charging too much for access to patents covering cellular and Wi-Fi connectivity in mobile devices.
Specifically, Apple took aim at Qualcomm for making customers sign and pay for patent licensing royalty agreements, as well as purchase its chips.
The licence terms allow Qualcomm to take a percentage of the overall selling price of iPhones, for example, but Apple said the chipmaker was “double dipping” and should only get one reward for its IP and products.
Rosenberg said Apple’s latest attack was an attempt to: “distract from the fact that it had made misleading statements about the comparative performance of its products, and threatened Qualcomm not to disclose the truth”.
“Apple says Qualcomm’s innovations are limited to technology implemented in the cellular modem, when Apple knows well that Qualcomm has been the de facto R&D arm of the industry.”
He continued: “It is simply untrue that Qualcomm is seeking to collect royalties for Apple innovations that have nothing to do with do with Qualcomm’s technology. Moreover, the per device royalty Qualcomm charges Apple’s contract manufacturers for the right to use our licenced technologies in the iPhone is less than what Apple charges for a single wall plug.”
Apple first sued Qualcomm in January for overcharging for chips, as well as refusing to pay $1 billion in rebates. Qualcomm hit back in a counterclaim against Apple for breaching agreements, and a number of other allegations.
In May, Qualcomm sued four of Apple’s iPhone manufacturers for failing to pay royalties and breaching licensing agreement.
The legal row between the two companies is expected to take years to resolve.