Qualcomm hits back at lobbying group for ‘misdirecting’ ITC in Apple lawsuit

Qualcomm is refusing to go down without putting up a good fight in its legal battle against Apple. The chipmaker has come out swinging, claiming that the lobbying tech group supporting Apple is intentionally ‘misdirecting’ the US International Trade Commission (ITC) with ‘coordinated effort’. It comes after the Computer and Communications Industry Associated (CCIA) urged the ITC to throw out Qualcomm’s request for an import ban on Apple’s iPhone and iPad models that use Intel chips.

The group – which represents Google, eBay, Amazon, Microsoft, Netflix, Intel, Samsung, and other tech companies – said that such a ban would only ‘strengthen Qualcomm’s anti-competitive measures’. However, Qualcomm has subsequently submitted a court filing, claiming that its import ban is not actually about Intel’s chips, but instead concerns the patented technology that surrounds the Intel chips in current versions of the iPhone.

The chipmaker claims that the group has launched a ‘coordinated effort aimed at misdirecting’ the ITC. The filing added: "Apple can purchase and utilize any LTE modem it chooses so long as it does not infringe Qualcomm’s asserted patents."

Apple and Qualcomm have been embroiled in an ongoing legal battle following Apple’s decision to sue Qualcomm in January for charging unfair royalties and refusing to pay quarterly rebates. Exchanging jabs ever since, the most recent was landed by Qualcomm who filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Apple and requested an import ban on certain iPhone models.

Embattled Qualcomm is also facing a daily fine of €580,000 for withholding information from EU antitrust regulators. Losing its appeal against the penalty in a EU court, the US chipmaker now must hand over the documents demanded by the antitrust regulators or face racking up an enormous fine.

Court President Marc Jaeger dismissed the appeal saying that there was no evidence as to why Qualcomm should withhold the information from regulators. "The applicant does not claim that its financial viability would be at risk or that its market share could be affected substantially," he said. "Furthermore, it does not give any explanation as to why it would be impossible to seek compensation for the alleged financial costs it would suffer by answering the questions."

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