Apple Expands Lawsuit Against Qualcomm; Says Patent License Agreements Are Invalid

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Apple has broadened its lawsuit against Qualcomm arguing that the agreements the Cupertino company has with the chip maker are invalid. 

Apple had previously sued Qualcomm for $1 billion for the latter’s business practices. Qualcomm called the lawsuit as baseless before going ahead and countersuing the company. Once Apple suppliers also started withholding their payments to the chip maker, it was forced to sue them as well.

Now, if Apple is able to win the lawsuit against Qualcomm, it would be a huge blow to the chip maker since it has similar agreements with other OEMs that uses its chips in their devices. This practice from Qualcomm is widely known was “no license, no chips” in the industry and requires OEMs to sign patent license agreements with the company before they can use its Snapdragon chips or modems in their devices.

Apple has widened its lawsuit against Qualcomm after a decision from a U.S. Supreme Court in May made it more difficult for manufacturers and drug companies to control how their products are used and resold.

The U.S. Supreme Court made it harder for manufacturers and drug companies to control how their products are used or resold, ruling in May against printer company Lexmark International Inc in a patent dispute over another company’s resale of its used ink cartridges.

On the basis of this decision, Apple has argued in its broadened lawsuit that Qualcomm is entitled to only “one reward” for the IP and modem that Apple ends up using in the iPhone. It wants to avoid signing a patent license agreement with the company so that it does not have to pay it royalty anymore.

Additionally, Apple also asked the court to drop the lawsuits from Qualcomm against three of its suppliers including Foxconn. The Cupertino company says the battle is between Qualcomm and Apple and no other company should be involved in it.

[Via Reuters]