Months after Apple launched $1 billion lawsuit against Qualcomm, the San Diego-based chipmaker is firing back. The company submitted its Answers and Counterclaims to Apple's lawsuit, which was filed back in January. Among Qualcomm's five complaints is the allegation that Apple intentionally hobbled Qualcomm modems in the iPhone 7 so they wouldn't outperform those provided by Intel.
Legally speaking, it has been a difficult year for Qualcomm. The initial lawsuit, filed in the US, was followed by additional suits in China and the United Kingdom. Before the Apple lawsuits, the company faced litigation from the US Federal Trade Commission for unfair business practices.
In its countersuit, Qualcomm alleges that Apple "chose not to utilize the full performance of Qualcomm’s modem chips in its iPhone 7," misrepresenting the difference in performance between iPhone models packing Qualcomm chips and those powered by its competitors. The company also claims Apple made threats in an attempt to keep it from making any public comparisons that might hint at the allegedly superior performance of the Qualcomm-powered iPhones.
With respect to the ongoing legal battle, Don Rosenberg, Qualcomm executive vice president and general counsel, said:
"After a decade of historic growth, Apple refuses to acknowledge the well established and continuing value of those technologies.
It has launched a global attack on Qualcomm and is attempting to use its enormous market power to coerce unfair and unreasonable license terms from Qualcomm."
In addition, the countersuit claims Apple breached agreements and mischaracterized its negotiations with Qualcomm, interfered with longstanding agreements with Qualcomm licensees, and encouraged regulatory attacks against the company around the world by misrepresenting facts and making false statements.
With total damages sought be both parties quickly racking up, it remains to be seen who will end up having to bear the ultimate cost should an out-of-court settlement not be reached.