Apple sues Qualcomm for $1 billion

James Pearce
Published on:

iPhone-maker accuses the chipset supplier of anti-competitive tactics in Californian court filing

Apple has filed a $1 billion lawsuit against Qualcomm, one of its biggest suppliers, with the US District Court for the Southern District of California, accusing it of overcharging for processors used in iPhones.

It also accused Qualcomm of failing to pay back $1 billion in promised rebates, in the iPhone-maker's latest legal dispute.

"If that were not enough, Qualcomm then attempted to extort Apple into changing its responses and providing false information to the KFTC in exchange for Qualcomm's release of those payments to Apple. Apple refused," Apple said in its lawsuit.

Apple added, "Despite being just one of over a dozen companies who contributed to basic cellular standards, Qualcomm insists on charging Apple at least five times more in payments than all the other cellular patent licensers we have agreements with combined."

Qualcomm is one of the biggest chipmakers in the world, supplying semiconductors used in iPhones and a number of Samsung smartphones. It also holds a number of patents around how handsets and cellular networks communicate, which it licenses to smartphone makers in return for royalties.

The San Diego-based firm is already facing a number of other lawsuits. The Federal Trade Commission last week filed a lawsuit alleging it of using monopolistic tactics over certain types of chips.

Qualcomm has vowed to battle both lawsuits, denying the accusations levelled at it by Apple.

In a statement, Qualcomm said: “"Apple has intentionally mischaracterized our agreements and negotiations, as well as the enormity and value of the technology we have invented, contributed and shared with all mobile device makers through our licensing program," Qualcomm EVP and general counsel Don Rosenberg said in the statement.

"We welcome the opportunity to have these meritless claims heard in court where we will be entitled to full discovery of Apple's practices and a robust examination of the merits."

It is the latest litigation in a long string of court dates for the iPhone-maker. Apple has been locked in a dispute with its biggest rival, Korean electronics giant Samsung, over iPhone patents and questions around design.