Qualcomm slaps Apple with counter lawsuit in legal battle

Qualcomm has slapped Apple with a counter-lawsuit after the iPhone maker took the chip manufacturer to court for breaching an agreement between the two firms. Apple accused the chip manufacturer of overcharging them and refusing to pay a whopping $1 billion in promised rebates. However, the legal wrangling has now taken a sudden U-turn, with Qualcomm coming out swimming and counter-suing Apple. The chip manufacturer alleged that Apple has ‘encouraged regulatory attacks’ on its business by making ‘false statements’ around the world.

The legal battle comes just days after the US government launched an investigation into Qualcomm for using underhand tactics in a bid to monopolise key semiconductor markets in smartphones.

After filing its lawsuit with the District Court in Southern California, a Qualcomm spokesman said that Apple continuously attempted to prevent the chip manufacturer from drawing comparison between the Qualcomm-powered iPhones and its superior operating power. "It (Apple) has launched a global attack on Qualcomm and is attempting to use its enormous market power to coerce unfair and unreasonable license terms from Qualcomm," a Qualcomm spokesman said. The chipmaker also claims that Apple interfered in its agreements with licensees that manufacture iPhones and iPads.

Apple has remained defiant in its position, reiterating its stance that Qualcomm has overcharged royalties and used Apple technology not related to agreed patents. As well as filing a lawsuit in the US, Apple is also suing the chipmaker through the courts in Beijing and is seeking to recoup 1 billion yuan ($145.32 million) in damages, according to Beijing’s Intellectual Property Court.

The news coincides with rumours that Apple is set to ditch its Dialog semiconductor chips. According to the latest whispers coming out of the Apple rumour circuit, the tech giant is instead looking to do away with out-sourcing to chip manufacturers and is instead investing on creating its own integrated circuits within the next three years.

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