After being named in a group legal filing expressing support for Apple in its case against Qualcomm, Intel has now filed its own statement with the International Trade Commission. The chipmaker alleges that Qualcomm is not licensing its patents at a fair rate and thus abusing its position in the industry.
In the filing with the ITC, Intel refers to itself as “Qualcomm’s only remaining competitor” in the mobile chip market, saying that Qualcomm’s motive with its legal battle against Apple is only to get rid of that competition:
“Qualcomm did not initiate this investigation to stop the alleged infringement of its patent rights; rather, its complaint is a transparent effort to stave off lawful competition from Qualcomm’s only remaining rival,” Intel said in its statement.
“This twisted use of the Commission’s process is just the latest in a long line of anticompetitive strategies that Qualcomm has used to quash incipient and potential competitors and avoid competition on the merits.”
Intel goes on to say that Qualcomm has engaged in other monopolistic and anti-competitive practices. For instance, Qualcomm offered Apple lower licensing fees for using its chips exclusively. “These arrangements foreclosed rivals like Intel from competing for Apple’s vital business,” it said (via CNET).
Furthermore, Intel says that Qualcomm engaged in the anticompetitive practice of “no license, no chips.” This essentially means that Qualcomm forces manufacturers to pay “exorbitant” royalties for every device they sell, even if they doesn’t contain Qualcomm technology.
Last but not least, Intel accuses Qualcomm of refusing to license its standard-essential patents to competitors, which is a violation under the “fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory terms.”
In addition to Intel, Apple earlier this week received formal support from companies such as Samsung, Google, and Amazon in its battle with Qualcomm. The two companies are of course engaged in a continually escalating legal battle over patent royalties and licensing.
The ITC is expected to start examining everything next month, while a full trial is expected next year. Though both Qualcomm and Apple have expressed their desire to settle outside of court, it remains to be seen whether that will be the case.
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