Apple launches another lawsuit against Qualcomm over iPhone modem licensing deals, this time in China

Following reports late last week that Apple is suing its iPhone modem supplier Qualcomm for $1 billion in the US, today Beijing’s Intellectual Property Court said Apple has also filed a similar suit in China seeking 1 billion yuan or over $140 million in damages (via Reuters).

In response to the new lawsuit, Qualcomm today issued its own press release and noted that Apple is claiming the company is in violation of China’s Anti-Monopoly Law. The press release also said that Apple is requesting “determination of the terms of a patent license” regarding the two companies’ cellular standard essentials patents, in response to which Qualcomm’s lawyers claimed Apple was offered deals consistent with the rest of the industry:

“These filings by Apple’s Chinese subsidiary are just part of Apple’s efforts to find ways to pay less for Qualcomm’s technology. Apple was offered terms consistent with terms accepted by more than one hundred other Chinese companies and refused to even consider them.  These terms were consistent with our NDRC Rectification plan.

The new case in China follows a very similar and related lawsuit launched in a California federal court and reported last week. That followed an earlier FTC complaint that alleged Qualcomm engaged in monopolistic practices to prevent Apple from sourcing key components from Qualcomm’s competitors. In a statement following news of the US suit, Apple alleged “Qualcomm has unfairly insisted on charging royalties for technologies they have nothing to do with.”

“Qualcomm built its business on older, legacy, standards but reinforces its dominance through exclusionary tactics and excessive royalties. Despite being just one of over a dozen companies who contributed to basic cellular standards, Qualcomm insists on charging Apple at least five times more in payments than all the other cellular patent licensors we have agreements with combined.”

Qualcomm followed up with its own response claiming that Apple “intentionally mischaracterized” the terms of its deals with the company and its contributions to technology it invented. It also claimed that Apple is “encouraging regulatory attacks on Qualcomm’s business in various jurisdictions around the world.”

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