Qualcomm Inc. has altered its lawsuit against Apple, filed in 2017. The chipset company has added allegations that smartphone giant stole their confidential data about latest chipsets and provided it to the rival Intel Corp. in order to use it in iPhones at lower prices. Qualcomm is in conflict with Apple since last year when iPhone maker sued Qualcomm for excessive royalties. Apple used to be Qualcomm’s favorite customer. A five-year agreement between Qualcomm and Apple expired in 2016, and since then iPhone maker started using wireless modem chips from Intel where they stopped paying any fee.
In this latest acquisition, Qualcomm claimed that Apple has been providing Qualcomm’s confidential modern chip data to Intel improperly to help the Pentium inventor improve their chips. The allegations of trading secrets were confirmed through the amended complaint proposed by Qualcomm quoting, “Apple has engaged in a years-long campaign of false promises, stealth, and subterfuge designed to steal Qualcomm’s confidential information and trade secrets for the purpose of improving the performance and accelerating time to market of lower-quality modem chipsets, including those developed by Intel Corporation, competitor of Qualcomm, to render such chipsets useable in Apple iPhones and other devices, with the ultimate goal of diverting Qualcomm’s Apple-based business to Intel.”
“Apple has wrongfully acquired, failed to protect, wrongfully used, wrongfully disclosed, and outright stolen Qualcomm’s confidential information and trade secrets, and Apple used that stolen technology to divert Qualcomm’s Apple-based business to Intel,” Qualcomm claimed.
Though Apple has been using Intel chips since 2016 for a much lower price, it has failed to match Qualcomm performance. Qualcomm officials said that they had an idea of trade-secret from the start of the conflict. They proceeded further with the discovery and found shocking contract breach from Apple. Donald Rosenberg, general counsel of Qualcomm, addressed it on CNBC, “ Unlawful use of Qualcomm’s valuable trade secrets to try to help a competitor catch up irreparably harms us and must not be allowed to continue.” According to the Snapdragon maker, information leaked by Apple engineers have shared software information such as source code.
Qualcomm stated that it gave Apple access to the most important and sensitive layers of its software source code in 2010. The information was about the industry-leading wireless modems. After the conflict, Apple used this information to help Intel Corp. compete with Qualcomm in the wireless modem chip industry. In return, Apple was released from heavy royalties and even got discount on chipsets used in iPhones. Analyst Ryan Shrout of Shrout Research has also stated that Intel has shown rapid improvement in modems.
Apple, on the other hand, has denied from any information trade with Intel. An Apple spokesperson told media that Qualcomm has repeatedly made evidence-less allegations.
“In late August, Apple filed a Motion to Compel in this same case to get Qualcomm to show evidence for its allegations since the company has continued to make claims without producing substantiation,” Apple told media.