A constant source of entertainment for people who enjoy the drama and tussles of high scale tech giants is the preposterously large number of lawsuits they encounter. All companies, since the beginning of the inception of this circle of industries with a preposterously large radius, have had grudges for some reason or the other. The tug-of-war for the topmost position in one’s sector goes on and on even with opponents from the other sector due to indirect connections. Qualcomm sues Apple.
A recent and remarkable development that took place just yesterday was the lawsuit that Qualcomm slapped over Apple Inc. The fire is not young though, with the spark being thrown a couple of years ago by Apple, when they accused Qualcomm of abusing its position as a dominant supplier of mobile chipsets to demand unreasonable fees.
Now, Qualcomm seems to be settling the vendetta by accusing Apple of stealing their modem technology and selling it to Intel. Allegedly, Apple used that code to help intel increase their connection speeds, and indirectly helping themselves by allowing better iPhone connectivity.
The complaint makes the following statement “on information and belief, Apple developed and carried out an intricate plan, beginning at least several years ago and continuing through the present, to steal vast swaths of Qualcomm’s confidential information and trade secrets, and to use the information and technology to improve the performance of non-Qualcomm chipset solutions and, in conjunction, the performance of iPhones based on such non-Qualcomm chipset solutions.”
It is worth noting that a similar claim was made earlier too by Qualcomm, when they accused Apple of violating as much as 6 of their patents, but that was just conjecture. Now, Qualcomm says that discovery in the case has led them to this conclusion. They also claim that Apple failed to protect the code they had shared for a deal on condition of safety and security. The codes were shared to allow deeper integration into the iPhones. Allegedly, Qualcomm was also allowed to audit Apple’s security practices but they were turned down more than once.
Further, Apple declined Qualcomm’s request to conduct their own investigation of the matter after an anonymous posting (on this page) leaked the news that Intel engineers were told to ignore intellectual property rights while designing modems. There was also some controversy about copying ideas from a “reference device”.
These contentious claims should not fool anyone as Qualcomm has been known to charge unusually high fees, owing to the dominance it has in the smartphone market, further accentuated by Intel’s failure in the game. Whether Qualcomm will get its desired monetary settlement along with the ban on Apple against using Intel chipsets is for time to tell. Until then, this will be interesting to see.