Amid a legal dispute between Qualcomm and Apple, the former has asked a court to force iPhone assemblers to keep making royalty payments. The chip maker has also updated one of its lawsuits to include what it says is more evidence that Apple is interfering with Qualcomm’s existing arrangements with its contract manufacturing firms, which include Foxconn, Compal, Wistron and Pegatron (via Axios).
In its amended suit, Qualcomm says that Apple has been withholding payments to suppliers and encouraging them to similarly withhold those amounts from Apple, all while promising to indemnify the suppliers if Qualcomm takes legal action. “We are confident that our contracts will be found valid and enforceable but in the interim it is only fair and equitable that our licensees pay for the property they are using,” said Qualcomm general counsel Don Rosenberg.
By withholding billions of dollars in royalties so long as Qualcomm defends itself against Apple’s claims, Apple is hoping to make litigation unbearable for Qualcomm and, thereby, to extract through a forced settlement what it knows it cannot obtain through judicial process—a below-market direct license. Apple’s tactics are egregious.
Earlier this year, Apple sued Qualcomm in the U.S. and later in China and the U.K. for nearly $1 billion, claiming that Qualcomm abused its monopoly position in cellular chips to impose unreasonable and costly terms on customers.