Law­suits start to pile up

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THE SPAT be­tween Ap­ple and Qual­comm just gets worse and worse. Both par­ties have reached for the le­gal sticks to beat each other. Ap­ple claims that Qual­comm was us­ing il­le­gal busi­ness mod­els in de­mand­ing roy­alty pay­ments and a per­cent­age of iPhone rev­enue in re­turn for use of its patented tech­nol­ogy. It’s su­ing for $1 bil­lion in the US. It claims that some patents are in­valid, and that Qual­comm has failed to charge fair and rea­son­able rates.

Qual­comm al­leges that Ap­ple has in­fringed its patents, and is seek­ing a ban on cer­tain iPhone mod­els be­ing im­ported in the coun­try. It claims that Ap­ple has de­lib­er­ately checked the per­for­mance of its chips so as not to out­shine In­tel’s chips. None of this is very ed­i­fy­ing. Lawyers will earn some hefty fees, while we may lose gi­ga­bit LTE speeds. Cur­rently, only Qual­comm’s chips can han­dle these, ready for the iPhone8—In­tel has chips in the pipe­line, but they won’t be ready in time.

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