Saturday January 21, 2017

Apple Sues Qualcomm For $1 Billion, Alleging Extortion

What is it like to get sued by three major entities within a month’s time? Ask Qualcomm, as Apple has just joined the FTC and the Korea Fair Trade Commission in taking the telecommunications company to court for its sly patent-licensing practices. The fruit company’s lawyers accuse Qualcomm of charging royalties for new, innovative technologies they did not develop, resulting in payments amounting to five times more than what other licensors get. I suppose the lesson here is that if you’re trying to create a monopoly, try to be discrete about it.

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Apple sued Qualcomm today, alleging that the chip company charges billions in patent royalties "for technologies they have nothing to do with." In its complaint, Apple says that Qualcomm actually withheld $1 billion in payments it owes to Apple because Apple cooperated with the Korea Fair Trade Commission, or KFTC. Apple lawyers go on to make an extraordinary claim: that Qualcomm "attempted to extort Apple into changing its responses and providing false information to the KFTC in exchange for Qualcomm's release of those payments to Apple," but Apple refused. Apple's lawsuit seeks unspecified damages while stating it has been "overcharged billions" by Qualcomm.