Qualcomm Inc. sued Apple Inc. contract manufacturers for failing to pay royalties on the chip maker’s technology, widening its legal battle with the technology giant.
In a lawsuit filed on Wednesday in a federal district court in San Diego, California, Qualcomm accuses Compal Electronics Inc., Foxconn Technology Group, Pegatron Corp. and Wistron Corp. of breaching patent-licensing agreements with the company by halting royalty payments on Qualcomm technology used in iPhones and iPads, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The suit seeks royalties they have withheld as well as a court order that the four Taiwanese companies continue to pay royalties according to their previous agreements with Qualcomm, the newspaper said.
Qualcomm said the contract manufacturers are withholding iPhone royalties because Apple has refused to reimburse them, directed them not to pay and agreed to indemnify them against any damages they may incur by failing to pay royalties to Qualcomm.
On the other hand, the four firms have continued to pay royalties for using Qualcomm patents in non-Apple products, according to the filing.
The Journal said Qualcomm had suspended royalty payments because it hadn’t been able to work out a deal with the chip company.
“We’ve been trying to reach a licensing agreement with Qualcomm for more than five years but they have refused to negotiate fair terms,” an Apple representative was quoted as saying.
The new lawsuit is the latest escalation in a dispute between Qualcomm, whose patents on key cellular communications technology enable it to collect royalties on nearly every smartphone made, the WSJ said.
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