Qualcomm CEO slams Apple for 'without merit' lawsuits

The arguments over licensing exploded into public view last week


										IDG Worldwide

IDG Worldwide

Senior executives at Qualcomm slammed Apple on Wednesday for lawsuits filed in the last week alleging the smartphone chip-maker significantly overcharged it for licensing fees.

The spat saw cases filed last Friday in California and this week in Beijing and were top of mind when Qualcomm conducted an earnings call with analysts on Wednesday.

For 15 minutes, Qualcomm executives criticized Apple's moves, calling the two lawsuits "without merit" and accused the iPhone-maker of trying to use them as a way to reduce the royalties the iPhone maker pays to Qualcomm. 

"Apple has been actively driving regulatory attacks on Qualcomm's business in jurisdictions around the world and misrepresenting facts and withholding information,"Qualcomm President Derek Aberle said.

Apple claimed that Qualcomm retaliated because it cooperated with a South Korean government investigation that ultimately saw Qualcomm fined $854 million for unfair licensing practices. Qualcomm vowed to appeal the decision.

Aberle said that Qualcomm did no such thing, and the company objected to Apple making false and misleading statements.

"We will prove that Apple's irresponsible claims of extortion are false," Aberle said.

Apple has generated billions in profits thanks to intellectual property from Qualcomm, CEO Mollenkopf said. Qualcomm has spent billions of dollars developing mobile technologies for over three decades, and wants to be fairly compensated for the inventions shared through licensing.

"Our preference is to always resolve customer disputes through negotiation instead of litigation. So it is regrettable Apple has chosen to take this path," Mollenkopf said.

The value of Qualcomm's IP was established long time ago, and the patent portfolio is actually going up in value as the mobile industry moves towards 5G, Mollenkopf said.

"Yet, we have never raised our royalty rates," Mollenkopf said.

In the California lawsuit, Apple is seeking $1 billion in compensation for excessive royalties paid. Apple said in its filing that Qualcomm should charge royalties based on the price of the baseband chip in the mobile device, and not a portfolio of technologies.

Aberle said that was inconceivable, and not in line with how chip technologies have been licensed for decades. Licensing at the component level is inefficient, and a device or modem chip maker would still need to take out licenses for other Qualcomm technologies in smartphones.

Besides modems, Qualcomm has an huge arsenal of intellectual property that also covers technologies like real-time tracking and mapping, which forms the basis for companies like Uber.

The excess royalties in dispute are paid to Qualcomm by contract manufacturers like Foxconn, which assemble the iPad and iPhone, and not directly by Apple.

"We hope Apple wouldn't interfere with those contracts," Aberle said.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?