Qualcomm's licensing-based business model was recently served with a $1 billion lawsuit from Apple, but today, Qualcomm filed a countersuit and publicly explained why it considers Apple's lawsuit to be invalid, noting that Apple themselves are at fault against Qualcomm. The filing goes over the ways that Apple has slighted Qualcomm as a company and their business model in recent times, including allegations that Apple has downplayed the importance of Qualcomm technologies in their products, and even interfered in license negotiations with Qualcomm licensees who happen to manufacture parts for the iPhone. Qualcomm's statement on the matter even says that Apple's tactics are undermining and interfering with renegotiations and updates with longstanding licensing partners just because of their involvement with Apple products.
Qualcomm's claims are as bold as those of Apple what previously claimed Qualcomm misrepresented just how important its technology is to Apple's products. According to Apple, Qualcomm is charging licensing royalties for technologies that they did not create, license out, or otherwise had a hand in. On top of that, the suit alleges that Qualcomm is proportionally charging Apple far more than it charges other licensees; three to four percent of each manufactured iPhone's bill of materials, to be exact, which they allege is up to nine times what other Qualcomm licensees are paying. Apple also alleged that Qualcomm is withholding cash that is owed to them, leaving the baseline for the lawsuit at $1 billion, with possible flex in either direction depending on the outcome of both lawsuits at this point.
This is far from the first time that Qualcomm has gotten in trouble over their licensing practices. They make a wide variety of parts and hold a wide variety of patents, though licensing their intellectual property and network technologies is far more profitable than their chip sales, despite the Snapdragon family's dominant position in the processor field for mobile devices. Their policy of charging based on the value of the device at hand rather than the value of Qualcomm technology in the devices, as well as alleged anti-competitive practices recently got Qualcomm sued by the United States antitrust watchdog, and they had similar problems in other countries last year.