Qualcomm sues four iPhone suppliers for ‘following Apple’s instructions not to pay royalties’

Qualcomm witness

In a new move in the on-going dispute between Apple and Qualcomm, the chip supplier has sued four iPhone suppliers directly. Qualcomm has already filed a countersuit against Apple itself.

The mess began when the FTC accused Qualcomm of effectively giving itself a monopoly by saying that it would charge Apple higher patent royalties unless the company agreed not to source baseband processors from its competitors. Apple then sued Qualcomm in several different countries, Qualcomm countersued, tried to get iPhone imports banned and said that iPhone suppliers were withholding around $1B in overdue royalties.

Even Samsung is on Apple’s side, but Qualcomm isn’t giving up …

Qualcomm has now named the four iPhone suppliers it says have failed to pay the patent royalties due, reports Reuters.

Qualcomm said on Wednesday it filed a complaint against Foxconn and three other contract manufacturers of Apple for not paying royalties. The other manufacturers listed by Qualcomm were Pegatron, Wistron and Compal Electronics.

Qualcomm says that the companies acknowledge the debts but Apple has told them not to pay.

“While not disputing their contractual obligations to pay for the use of Qualcomm’s inventions, the manufacturers say they must follow Apple’s instructions not to pay,” the chipmaker said in a statement.

The chipmaker is suing the companies for the payments themselves and additional damages. It is also seeking declaratory relief, which is asking the court to recognize that the sums are due in law even if the court doesn’t order immediate payment.

It looks like Tim Cook is right that this one is going to run for some time …

Photo: The Verge

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