Apple announced a licensing agreement with Qualcomm invalid

Apple strengthened the legal attack on Qualcomm’s, saying in a US federal court that the license agreement, according to which the chip manufacturer is required to make payments to each manufactured iPhone, are invalid. If successful, the attack would undermine the basic principle of Apple Qualcomm business model.

REUTERS / Mike Blake
REUTERS / Mike Blake

Apple sued based in San Diego Qualcomm company in January this year, saying that unreasonably refused to pay $ 1 billion dollars in the form of discounts, because Apple has helped Korean regulators to investigate the antitrust case in her regard.

Original claim Apple was relatively narrow, focused mainly on clarifying whether it breached its contract with Qualcomm’s, helping regulators, who studied Qualcomm’s business practices, or not. But new allegations submitted to the Court, broaden the scope of the requirements of Apple, is now seeking to destroy an established business model Qualcomm using legal theory, based on the decisions of the Supreme Court, published in the last month.

US Supreme Court has made it harder for manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies the ability to control how their products are used or resold, speaking in May against the company Lexmark International Inc. in a patent dispute over its resale to another company of used ink cartridges.

After that, Apple has opposed the current Qualcomm practices require the customers to sign an agreement on a patent license before they will buy chips, known in the industry as a «no license, no chips» (no license, no chips).

Currently, licensing allows Qualcomm receive royalties as a percentage of the total cost of iPhone sales in exchange for the supply of modem chips, which are used in phones to connect to cellular networks.

Apple claims that the court’s decision on the Lexmark showed that Qualcomm is entitled to receive only the “one fee” for its intellectual property and products. That is Qualcomm’s should be allowed to charge a fee for a license for a patent or for the chip, but not for both.



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