Apple steps up the pressure on Qualcomm: stops licensing payments

April 28, 2017 // By Julien Happich
As a follow up to the lawsuit Apple filed against Qualcomm last January, accusing the chip maker and IP licensing company of creating a monopoly to control the market for mobile phone chips, Apple has now decided to cease all licensing payments relating to the iPhone.

In a succinct press release, Qualcomm says it has been informed by Apple that the company had decided to withhold payments to its contract manufacturers for the royalties those contract manufacturers owe under their licenses with Qualcomm, for sales during the quarter ended March 31, 2017.

And Apple also indicated it was determined to not pay any such royalties until its dispute with Qualcomm would be resolved. Although iPhone maker began shipping smartphones without Qualcomm's wireless modem chips inside, the chip maker nevertheless seeks royalties under the assumption that any wireless modem chip (including from competition) is relying on many of its related patents.

“Apple is improperly interfering with Qualcomm’s long-standing agreements with Qualcomm’s licensees”, said Don Rosenberg, executive vice president and general counsel of Qualcomm.

“These license agreements remain valid and enforceable.  While Apple has acknowledged that payment is owed for the use of Qualcomm’s valuable intellectual property, it nevertheless continues to interfere with our contracts. Apple has now unilaterally declared the contract terms unacceptable; the same terms that have applied to iPhones and cellular-enabled iPads for a decade. Apple’s continued interference with Qualcomm’s agreements to which Apple is not a party is wrongful and the latest step in Apple's global attack on Qualcomm.  We will continue vigorously to defend our business model, and pursue our right to protect and receive fair value for our technological contributions to the industry.”