Published: Tue, June 20, 2017
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Apple seeks to void Qualcomm's claims over iPhone, iPad technology

Apple seeks to void Qualcomm's claims over iPhone, iPad technology

The move illustrates the tech titan broadening its legal attack on the chipmaker, as in January Apple sued Qualcomm alleging that it improperly withheld $1 billion in rebates because Apple helped Korean regulators investigate Qualcomm.

Apple's 160-page filing largely centers on a Supreme Court ruling on patents from last month.

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Citing the Lexmark decision, Apple argues that once a customer buys a phone with Qualcomm technology the chip maker is already paid, and any additional royalties charged is a double-dip and a violation of US patent law.

Qualcomm should either be allowed to charge for a patent license or a chip, but not both, Apple contended.

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Apple said the Supreme Court ruling showed a patent holder can only demand a single reward for its products and that Qualcomm is going against that principle by requiring anyone who wants to buy its chips to also pay royalties on the technology in them. In addition, it argues that licensing fees based on a percentage of iPhone and iPad prices are unfair because Qualcomm's technologies cover a small portion of what goes into those devices. In May, the high court found that patent law can not stop the resale of Lexmark printer cartridges refilled with toner by third-party suppliers, curbing the power of patent owners over sold products. Apple says it was coerced to do so because Qualcomm chips were essential to Apple's products.

Apple argues it is entitled to restitution of all excessive license fees it has paid and wants to set a "fair and reasonable" royalty.

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Bloomberg reported this morning that Apple returned fire, saying in a legal filing that evidence increasingly indicated Qualcomm's business model is "illegal". Qualcomm has sought a court order to force the four Taiwanese companies to pay royalties on technology used in iPhones and iPads, according to their previous agreements with Qualcomm.

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