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Apple Proceed With Foreign Lawsuits Against Qualcomm

A US Federal Judge has ruled that Apple’s 11 foreign lawsuits against chip-maker Qualcomm can proceed, whilst the dispute continues in the United States.

The parties are amidst legal proceedings over Qualcomm’s licensing of modem chips, which Apple alleges the company is charging unfair prices for, whilst adding claims of anti-competitive prices.

Qualcomm’s modem chips – used to provide data connectivity to smartphones as the iPhone – has become standard across the mobile phone industry, therefore the company is required to license them on fair terms.

Qualcomm states it has provided fair terms where obligated, and that determining pricing on patents which are not bound by standard rules, is well within its rights. The company has sought an “anti-suit” injunction against Apple, which it hopes will temporarily halt the 11 separate lawsuits against it and its subsidaries in the UK,  Japan, China and Taiwan, over the same allegations.

The recent news has seen a US Federal judge ruling against Qualcomm, informing Apple it can proceed with its actions whilst the US case continues.

Judge Gonzalo Curiel states of the ruling:

“Apple’s declarations make evident that it has sought to challenge Qualcomm’s patent licensing practices and anticompetitive conduct territory by territory. While Qualcomm may object to this litigation strategy as duplicative, the Court will not conclude that Apple’s exercise of its rights under foreign laws is vexatious”.

Qualcomm has voiced its “disappointment” at the ruling.

Naturally, Apple has praised the verdict, as spokeperson Josh Rosenstock states:

“We are pleased the federal court in San Diego decided Qualcomm must establish the fair value of its technology and defend its business practices in court before forcing Apple and others to pay exorbitant and unfair rates, which amount to a tax on our own inventions”.

Meanwhile, Qualcomm has also brought an action against Apple with the US International Trade Commission, hoping to ban imports of some iPhones.

An antitrust complaint has also been filed against Qualcomm with the US Federal Trade Commission. In addition, four of Apple’s contract manufacturers have sued Qualcomm for antitrust allegations, and Apple has since joined the suit.

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