There is an ongoing battle between Apple and Qualcomm over the royalty fees for the patent licenses. Apple claims they are unfairly priced and has stopped paying Qualcomm for the lease and took the case to the courts; Qualcomm quickly countersued for non-payment.  You can read about the original case in more detail here. This week, Apple has added to the lawsuit by filing an argument with the court claiming that, in addition to its original claims, Qualcomm’s business model is illegal and involves licensing patents that aren’t even valid.

This week, Apple has added to the lawsuit by filing an argument with the court claiming that, in addition to its original claims, Qualcomm’s business model is illegal and involves licensing patents that aren’t even valid. The recently recent court document adds dozens of new pages and portrays Apple’s more specific and bolder claims against Qualcomm, but here are three of the biggest changes.

  1. Apple updated the suit to reflect the Supreme Court ruling in a case involving Lexmark. Apple alleges Qualcomm is seeking to be compensated twice for the same patents in selling chips and simultaneously seeking royalties for patents embodied in those chips, which Apple maintains runs contrary to the court’s holdings in Lexmark.
  2. It asked the court to throw out Qualcomm’s counterclaims that Apple has interfered with the company’s contracts and harmed its ability to profit from its chip innovation.
  3. Apple detailed more of the Qualcomm patents it believes are at issue in the dispute and asked the court to declare them either invalid, not infringed by Apple, covered by the purchase of chips or all of the above.

Apple claims that 12 of Qualcomm’s patents are invalid because of conflicts with other patents. Together, the claims basically accuse Qualcomm of abusing the patent licensing system to force companies to pay royalties for patents they don’t need, and also accuse Qualcomm of peddling patents that aren’t even valid.

The stage is set for a long and torturous legal battle at this point, but things are likely to get resolved sooner rather than later. Qualcomm is an essential supplier of chips in iPhones that allow for wireless communication, and with the iPhone 8 on the horizon, Apple can’t afford to completely cut off Qualcomm so some kind of settlement is still the most likely outcome