Apple uses Supreme Court decision to escalate war against Qualcomm

“Apple has fired its latest legal salvo at Qualcomm, broadening its multibillion-dollar battle over wireless chip royalties by attacking the validity of the chipmaker’s patents and leaning on a US Supreme Court decision to support its allegation of ‘double-dipping,'” Tim Bradshaw reports for the Financial Times.

“The tech groups have spent recent months raising the legal stakes after Apple in January accused Qualcomm of ‘exclusionary tactics and excessive royalties,’ running into billions of dollars over the past few years,” Bradshaw reports. “In a legal filing on Tuesday, Apple pointed to a ruling by the US Supreme Court to try to bolster its case that Qualcomm is charging too much for access to patents covering cellular and WiFi connectivity in mobile devices. At the end of May, the court found that patent law cannot be used to prevent the resale of Lexmark printer cartridges refilled with toner by other suppliers. ‘A patentee’s decision to sell a product exhausts all of its patent rights in that item, regardless of any restrictions the patentee purports to impose,’ Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the court’s ruling, reversing a decision by the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.”

Bradshaw reports, “Apple’s lawyers say the ‘landmark decision’ suggests Qualcomm’s practice of obliging customers that buy its chip modems to also pay a patent royalty — which the US Federal Trade Commission called in its own complaint a ‘no license, no chips’ model — is a ‘violation of US patent law.’ ‘This is precisely the kind of double-dipping, extra-reward system that the Court’s decision in Lexmark forbids,’ Apple argues in its filing.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Greedy Qualcomm’s free ride on Apple’s coattails is inexorably drawing to an end.

Outside of a Microsoft Store, nobody wants more for less than Qualcomm.

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Apple just poached one of Qualcomm’s top guys – May 31, 2017
Supreme Court rules against Lexmark strengthening FTC/Apple cases against Qualcomm – May 30, 2017
Desperate Qualcomm seeks injunction against Apple’s suppliers – May 25, 2017
Qualcomm files new lawsuit in ongoing Apple feud targeting four major iPhone suppliers – May 17, 2017
FTC says Qualcomm is a monopoly; Samsung agrees – May 13, 2017
What seems reasonable to Qualcomm isn’t to Apple: Royalty dispute ultimately affects iPhone prices – May 8, 2017
Qualcomm to seek U.S. ITC import ban for Apple iPhones – May 3, 2017
Qualcomm slashes profit forecasts as Apple ceases paying iPhone royalties – April 28, 2017
BlackBerry awarded $815 million in arbitration with Qualcomm over royalty overpayments – April 13, 2017
Qualcomm countersues Apple – April 11, 2017
Qualcomm wants FTC to drop their antitrust suit, but it doesn’t mater because Apple’s isn’t going anywhere – April 5, 2017
Apple’s dispute with Qualcomm could last two years – March 3, 2017
Apple widens global patent war, files lawsuit against Qualcomm in the United Kingdom – March 2, 2017
Apple may have paid Qualcomm $40 per iPhone; accounting for 1/3rd of Qualcomm’s revenue – February 10, 2017
Conservative groups ask President Trump to terminate FCC lawsuit over Qualcomm patent licensing – January 27, 2016
Qualcomm CEO fires back at Apple: Bring it on – January 26, 2017
Apple sues Qualcomm in China seeking 1 billion yuan – January 25, 2017
Qualcomm comments on Apple’s lawsuits in China – January 25, 2017
Apple’s rebellion against the ‘Qualcomm Tax’ – January 24, 2017
Despite lawsuit, Qualcomm wants to keep doing business – January 24, 2017
Why Apple, the FTC, and others are attacking Qualcomm’s royalty model – January 24, 2017
Here are the most damning parts of Apple’s blockbuster lawsuit against Qualcomm – January 23, 2017
Apple’s legal assault on Qualcomm part of iPhone margin grab – January 23, 2017
Qualcomm says Apple’s claims are ‘baseless’ in response to Cupertino’s $1 billion lawsuit – January 21, 2017
Apple sues Qualcomm for $1 billion over onerous licensing practices – January 20, 2017
Qualcomm exec says FTC ‘rushed’ antitrust lawsuit before President-elect Trump’s inauguration – January 19, 2017
FTC alleges Qualcomm forced Apple into iPhone LTE chip deals – January 18, 2017
FTC charges Qualcomm with monopolizing key smartphone chip; alleges extracted exclusivity from Apple in exchange for reduced patent royalties – January 17, 2017


  1. The link at the end of the MDN excerpt is to a paid subscription to the Financial Times. MDN, you should flag any link that leads to a pay portal.

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