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Apple seeks to void patent claims, fees in Qualcomm dispute

20 Juin 2017

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) wants a court to rule Qualcomm's (NASDAQ:QCOM) royalty license agreements invalid, according to Reuters. Today, Apple has struck another blow at the chip maker, by claiming that the license agreements, that make the iPhone manufacturer pay Qualcomm a cut of every produced device, are actually invalid.

In a federal court filing Tuesday, Apple cited a Supreme Court ruling last month that a printer-cartridge maker's patent rights end with the initial sale of the cartridges. Apple says Qualcomm is doubling its fees by charging both a patent license fee for the use of its technology, and also for the chip itself. Apple claimed in that suit that it "has been overcharged billions of dollars on Qualcomm's illegal scheme", although the suit seeks damages of just less than $1 billion.

Qualcomm has said its patents that cover key cellular communications technology are essential to smartphones and that the iPhone wouldn't exist without Qualcomm developing those technologies and agreeing to license them.

One argument working in Qualcomm's favor, however: Apple and its contractors signed agreements to pay licensing fees this way.

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Apple added more allegations to its complaint against Qualcomm, escalating a massive battle over patent royalties that began in January.

Apple also asked the court to stop lawsuits that Qualcomm had filed against Foxconn Technology Group and three other contract makers that assemble the iPhone on Apple's behalf and are the formal buyers of Qualcomm's chip, as is standard in the electronics industry.

Apple had originally argued only that Qualcomm illegally withheld $1B worth of rebates because Apple helped Korean regulators to investigate the chipmaker.

Apple seeks to void patent claims, fees in Qualcomm dispute