Apple owes $7 billion in royalty payments, Qualcomm claims

The patent spat between the tech giants has reached new heights.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer

Qualcomm claims that Apple owes $7 billion in patent licensing fees amidst a lengthy battle between royalty demands and patent infringement allegations.

In a hearing taking place in a federal court in San Diego on Friday, as reported by Reuters, Qualcomm representatives announced the alleged figure owing, while Apple disrupted the amount.

In June 2017, the iPad and iPhone maker filed a complaint in a federal court based in the Southern District of California which alleged that Qualcomm was operating an "illegal business model."

Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple claimed that Qualcomm charges a fee for each iPhone manufactured, a range of devices which utilizes Qualcomm patents.

While this isn't necessarily a problem, Apple says that Qualcomm is doubling its profit by also charging a fee for the technology itself.

Apple claims that such a system is "double-dipping," leading to the tech giant withholding royalty payments until the matter was resolved.

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However, the argument first surfaced in January 2017, when Apple filed a suit against Qualcomm alleging that the firm was "attempting to extort" Apple for its dealings with South Korean regulatory investigators.

According to the lawsuit, Qualcomm withheld close to $1 billion and also operated an "abusive licensing model" which permitted exorbitant fees to be charged to licensees.

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A complaint was then filed by Qualcomm which asked the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) to ban the import of some iPhone models into the US. A countersuit was then filed by Apple suppliers including Foxconn, Pegatron, Wistron, and Compal Electronics which alleged that Qualcomm was violating US antitrust legislation known as the Sherman Act.

See also: Apple lawsuit accuses Qualcomm of operating illegal business model

In December, Qualcomm filed a set of three new countersuits against Apple which alleged Apple is infringing upon a number of the firm's patents outside of their licensing agreements.

Last month, Qualcomm filed a new lawsuit against Apple which accuses the company of handing over source code and confidential information to rival chip maker Intel.

ZDNet has reached out to Apple and Qualcomm and will update if we hear back.

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