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Qualcomm accuses Apple of patent infringement of chips

Sep 25, 2018, 3:07 pm

In this August Apple maintained the allegation that Qualcomm had refused to respond to the charge of improperly sharing specific confidential information with Intel. Apple also alleged at the time that it had given Qualcomm the chance to verify that Qualcomm’s software had been used properly.

On Tuesday, September 25, Qualcomm Inc accused Apple of stealing its trade secrets to give them to Intel so as to improve their chips, and to be able to use the Intel chips instead of the Qualcomm ones.

In a move to amend a complaint filed in November, Qualcomm charged Apple of breaking a software license contract by sharing confidential details about Qualcomm’s chips with Intel engineers. It stated that “Apple stole Qualcomm trade secrets in a “multi-year campaign of sloppy, inappropriate and deceitful conduct … for the purpose of improving lower-quality modem chipsets, including those manufactured by Intel, a competitor of Qualcomm, to render such chipsets useable in Apple devices with the ultimate goal of diverting Qualcomm’s Apple-based business to Intel.”

The San Diego County lawsuit witnesses an extensive legal dispute in which Apple accused Qualcomm of unfair patent licensing practices and Qualcomm accused Apple of patent infringement.

Qualcomm alleged that it provided modem chips for the iPhone and also granted Apple access to its confidential software tools to help Apple integrate the modems into the iPhone. But since iPhone 7, however, Apple began using Intel modem chips in some of its models.

According to Qualcomm, since the start of its lawsuit in November, it has discovered evidence that Apple engineers “repeatedly” used Qualcomm software to help Intel’s engineers “improve the sub-par performance of Intel’s chipsets.” It added that “In fact, it apparently improved Intel chipsets to the point where Apple decided to divert some of Qualcomm’s Apple-based business to Intel.”

In its filing, Qualcomm requested Judge Jacqueline M. Stern to allow them to attach the new allegations to the existing complaint rather than force them into filing a new lawsuit.

Apple, however, declined to comment on this charge. Intel, which is not named as a defendant in Qualcomm’s lawsuit, also declined to comment.

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