Date
17 July 2018
Qualcomm is accused of using its monopoly position as a baseband chip maker to seek "unreasonable" terms for patents. Photo: Reuters
Qualcomm is accused of using its monopoly position as a baseband chip maker to seek "unreasonable" terms for patents. Photo: Reuters

Apple files lawsuits against Qualcomm in China

Apple Inc. has filed two lawsuits against Qualcomm Inc. in China, pursuing its legal battle with its longtime chip supplier in the world’s biggest market for smartphones, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The lawsuits filed in Beijing’s Intellectual Property Court are similar to a legal challenge Apple brought against Qualcomm in the United States.

In one of the China suits, Apple claims Qualcomm has violated China’s antimonopoly law, while the other case relates to the chipmaker’s licensing practices, which Apple says are unfair and unreasonable, according to the newspaper.

Apple said is seeking 1 billion yuan (US$145 million) in damages in the antitrust case.

In a statement, Qualcomm general counsel Don Rosenberg said the lawsuits in China “are just part of Apple’s efforts to find ways to pay less for Qualcomm’s technology”.

He noted that Apple was offered terms similar to those accepted by more than 100 Chinese companies.

Apple’s US lawsuit, filed on Friday in a US district court in California, accuses Qualcomm of using its monopoly position as a manufacturer of baseband chips, a critical component in mobile phones, to seek “onerous, unreasonable and costly” terms for patents.

It also says Qualcomm blocked Apple’s ability to choose another chipset supplier.

In response, Qualcomm said Apple’s claims are baseless, adding that the technology firm failed to acknowledge the value of the technology Qualcomm invented, according to the Journal report.

The Apple suits follow a lawsuit filed this month by the US Federal Trade Commission alleging that Qualcomm engaged in unlawful tactics to maintain a monopoly on baseband chips, the report said.

Last month, South Korea’s antitrust regulator slapped a roughly US$853 million fine on Qualcomm for alleged anticompetitive patent-licensing practices.

Qualcomm has vowed to fight both actions, the newspaper said.

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RC/CG

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