After Apple hit Qualcomm with a barrage of lawsuits earlier this year, the chip maker is countersuing Apple right back. Qualcomm today filed its Answers and Counterclaims to Apple’s January lawsuit, filed in the Southern District of California.
The full details of the suit can be read in a 139-page document (PDF) released by Qualcomm, but the company has five key complaints — including the claim that Apple deliberately didn’t use the full potential of Qualcomm chips in iPhone 7 phones so that they wouldn’t perform better than the modems provided by Intel.
“Apple’s goal is clear — to leverage its immense power to force Qualcomm into accepting less than fair value for the patented technologies that have led innovation in cellular technology and helped Apple generate more than $760 billion in iPhone sales,” Qualcomm said in its filing.
Additionally, Qualcomm accused Apple of breach of contract and interfering with agreements and relationships Qualcomm has with other companies. The company also accuses Apple of withholding payments that are part of a previously agreed upon relationship for high-speed technology. Furthermore, Apple is being accused of deliberately making false statements to the government relating to Qualcomm’s business.
While Apple argued in its lawsuit that Qualcomm had caused damages to its business, Qualcomm states in its lawsuit that “to the extent that Apple has suffered damages, if at all, all damages were caused by Apple’s own actions.”
Perhaps most notably, Qualcomm alleges in its lawsuit that Apple knowingly under-clocked the Qualcomm LTE chip in the iPhone 7 to get of rid of discrepancy between models with the Intel chip. Apple also allegedly threatened Qualcomm to prevent it from making public comparisons that unearthed the “superior performance of Qualcomm-powered iPhones.”
Apple originally sued Qualcomm earlier this year for $1 billion over patent royalties. Apple’s lawsuit followed an FTC complaint that alleged Qualcomm engaged in monopolistic practices to prevent Apple from sourcing key components from competitors. For its part, Qualcomm responded and explained that Apple “intentionally mischaracterized our agreements and negotiations.”
Originally, it had been reported that Qualcomm was mulling retaliatory legal action against Apple, but that it hoped the business relationship between the two would go unaffected. Qualcomm, in its legal filing toady, spoke fondly of Apple and its effect on consumer technology:
“Apple could not have built the incredible iPhone franchise that has made it the most profitable company in the world, capturing over 90 percent of smartphone profits, without relying upon Qualcomm’s fundamental cellular technologies,” Qualcomm said. “Now, after a decade of historic growth, Apple refuses to acknowledge the well established and continuing value of those technologies.”
When asked for comment, Apple referred back to the comment it made in January:
“For many years Qualcomm has unfairly insisted on charging royalties for technologies they have nothing to do with. The more Apple innovates with unique features such as TouchID, advanced displays, and cameras, to name just a few, the more money Qualcomm collects for no reason and the more expensive it becomes for Apple to fund these innovations.”