Qualcomm Says Apple Owes It $7bn In Royalties

Qualcomm has sought to ramp up the legal pressure on Apple, after it alleged that the iPad maker owes in billions of dollars in unpaid royalties.

The dominant provider of mobile chips reportedly said that Apple is $7bn (£5.5bn) behind in patent royalty payment for the use in its chip in iPhones.

Apple had previously used Qualcomm’s chips for the modems in its iPhones, but beginning with the iPhone 7 began using Intel modem chips.

Bitter battle

Both companies have been engaged in a legal spat for a number of years now.

Apple has accused Qualcomm of abusing its market dominance, saying the fees Qualcomm charges are unfair.

Qualcomm last November sued Apple for allegedly violating the terms of the contract between the two companies, and has separately accused Apple of violating its patents.

It has repeated sought to ban the importing of iPhones into the US.

And according to Reuters, Qualcomm said in a court hearing on Friday that Apple is $7bn behind in patent royalty payments.

Qualcomm reportedly made its comments about the size of Apple’s unpaid royalties in a hearing in one of the cases in federal court in San Diego.

Apple has apparently disputed the amount of royalties that it owes to Qualcomm.

According to Reuters, Apple is arguing that Qualcomm is forcing it to pay for the same patents twice, once when Apple uses Qualcomm’s chip in iPhones and then again through patent royalties.

Qualcomm of course has a different view says its practices are legal, and that Apple is seeking to destroy Qualcomm’s business model after agreeing to it for years.

Wrongful conduct?

And in an amendment by Qualcomm to court filings, the firm also went further when it accused Apple of “wrongful conduct.”

It should be remembered that last month Qualcomm accused Apple of stealing its technology in order to share it with rival chip makers, including Intel.

It alleged that Apple developed an “intricate plan” to steal proprietary information and share it with Intel and others over a period of several years, in order to cut its own costs.

Apple of course denies those allegations.

In July this year it was reported that Apple was considering moving away from using Intel’s 5G modems in future iPhones.

Apple had historically relied on Qualcomm chips, but its bust up with the chip designer meant that it turned to Intel in recent years for its chipsets.

Quiz: How well do you know Apple?

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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