The legal tear between Apple and Qualcomm is still swinging in full, as Qualcomm files official reply documents, in an attempt to defend itself against Apple and other companies’ allegations that the chipmaker seeks to manipulate competition. Last week, a handful of companies that are part of the Computer & Communications Industry Association expressed their support for Cupertino, submitting concerns about Qualcomm’s prior request to the ITC to ban iPhone imports into the US. Companies, in the likes of Facebook, Samsung, Google and Intel jumped in on the legal saga, leading us to believe that we still might be a long way before we see a resolution.
Apple and Qualcomm locked horns in the court earlier this year, after Apple stopped paying the chipmaker licensing fees, and subsequently withheld more than $ 1 billion in due payments. The issue stemmed from the fact that Qualcomm allegedly charged higher fees on some of its patented tech, which Apple said unjustly enriched the chipmaker for tech it had not contributed to. Qualcomm then filed a motion that sought to ban imports, showcasing and sales of iPhones in the US, which was not welcomed by tech players in the industry, who lashed back at Qualcomm’s alleged attempt to manipulate the chips market.
Qualcomm’s recent submission addresses the comments made last week by the Computer & Communications Industry Association, saying that the companies in the Association engaged in a “coordinated effort aimed at misdirecting” the ITC in its decision. Qualcomm has also said that the iPhone ban would not harm consumer interests, exert manipulative influence on the market or on Intel’s ability to sell chips in the US, contending that Apple is free to choose what LTE modem provider to buy silicon from. In this sense, Qualcomm also commented that the dispute did not concern Intel’s chips, but its own right to prevent infringement by competitors of its patented tech.
Qualcomm submits that the request to ban imports is provoked by patent-infringing devices that make use of “technologies relating to the design, structure, and operation of products with envelope tracking technology, voltage shifter circuitry, flashless boot, power management circuitry, enhanced carrier aggregation, and graphics processing units.” The chipmaker has insisted that its move is nothing but an attempt to enforce patent laws and would not have the impact on consumer interest or fair competition that opponents have said it would.
Last week, Qualcomm’s CEO made a comment that he would expect an out-of-court settlement of the legal dispute, which caused a few of us to ponder whether the parties might soon reach an off-the-record agreement. However, Qualcomm’s latest filing seems to be just another straw to an already snowballing drama that now seems to gather only more momentum and pull more parties into the proceedings.
Source: scribd.com via CNET
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