German court throws out Qualcomm's latest patent case against Apple


"Apple has a history of infringing our patents", said Don Rosenberg, Qualcomm's executive vice president and general counsel.

Qualcomm, meanwhile, faces a USA antitrust case brought by the Federal Trade Commission which accuses it of abusing a monopoly on mobile chip technology in a trial that could have a major impact on the smartphone industry. He added that the company however, still continues to supply chips for older iPhone models.

Qualcomm said in October 2017 that it had already "tested and released to Apple" modems that could be used in the new iPhones and that it was committed to working as a supplier for Apple.

The local court in Mannheim rejected the Qualcomm lawsuit, claiming that it was unwarranted, in a preliminary judgment, stating "the patent of the invention in question was never breached" due to the installment of "chips inside Apple company's smart devices". Blevins besides this also shared that Apple is considering making Intel the sole supplier of modems for the Apple Watch. Apple could choose another supplier but it would lose the rebate, effectively increasing the cost of its chips.

Qualcomm is now under investigation on charges of refusal to license patents to other manufacturers of processors and the promise of transactions with such clients as Apple, if they would only use Qualcomm's chips.

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Qualcomm was not aiming to block rivals like Intel, he said.

The court has also heard of several times in which a Qualcomm executive explicitly threatened to cut off a company from the chip supply chain if they challenged the company.

There are other troubling things written into Qualcomm contracts too: that anyone signing an agreement with it automatically has to license their intellectual property back to Qualcomm - something Apple baulked at. In its most recent financial year, Qualcomm had revenue of $5.2-billion from its licensing division, even in a year when Apple had stopped paying fees. It is now facing the US FTC in court over accusations of monopolistic business practices. The European Union (EU) has levied roughly a billion euros fine on Qualcomm.

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board agreed to consider the validity of two Qualcomm patents, according to notices posted on its electronic docket Tuesday. Apple has filed an appeal against the ruling.