Google, Microsoft, Facebook and other tech giants take Apple’s side in its months-long legal dispute with Qualcomm

Google, Microsoft, Facebook and other tech giants take Apple’s side in its months-long legal dispute with Qualcomm
Apple and Qualcomm have been stuck in a legal deadlock since the start of the year, without any indications of a looming resolution, whatsoever. A few days ago, Qualcomm’s CEO made a comment that he would expect an out-of-court settlement, which kind of made us think that the two sides might soon talk out an agreement, but we haven’t seen anything further to those comments. If anything, Reuters has reported today that representatives of other tech companies are jumping in on the ‘fun’ by siding with Apple in its dispute with the chipmaker.

A lobbying group, called the Computer & Communications Industry Association, which represents companies, such as Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Amazon, has filed some comments with the US International Trade Commission (ITC) against Qualcomm’s request to the ITC to ban import of iPhones in the US.

Earlier this month, Qualcomm sought to bar Apple from importing, marketing and showcasing its phones in the country, claiming Cupertino infringed six Qualcomm tech patents.

However, the companies in the Computer & Communications Industry Association have expressed outright disapproval of Qualcomm’s move, seeking to address the repercussions such a ban would have on the whole industry.

The group also commented that such a ban on iPhones would cause “significant shocks to supply” and would ultimately have a largely negative result for consumers.

Qualcomm’s request to the ITC was the tip of an iceberg of countless in- and out-of-court accusations with Apple. The court proceedings started at the beginning of this year, when the FTC challenged Qualcomm's decision to charge Cupertino higher royalties for some of its patented tech, alleging that big-Q effectively sought to monopolize the market. The issue is that Qualcomm charges a fee as a percentage of the total price of a device, which, Apple suggests, unjustly enriches the chipmaker for parts and tech it does not own. Consequently, Apple withheld $1 billon in due payments to Qualcomm, instructing its partner distributors, such as Foxconn, to do the same.

The chipmaker first sought a preliminary injunction and declaratory relief against Apple, but to no end, and then went in horns-first, seeking to ban iPhones in the US and halt Apple’s profits from the contested patents.

We really don’t know how and when the saga will end. The issue is no longer contained between Apple and Qualcomm, as more stakeholders jump on the wagon, meaning this could drag for months to come.

source: Reuters


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