Qualcomm filed three additional patent infringement complaints against Apple, the company said last week, adding that the lawsuits cover 16 additional patents the iPhone maker was found to allegedly be infringing. The separate claims were filed with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, the same San Diego-based court that already oversees a number of Qualcomm and Apple's patent disputes. The development is just the latest move in an all-encompassing legal battle over patent usage that saw long-time collaborators accuse each other of a series of wrongdoings ranging from infringement and general contract violations to omission-related transgressions.
The three new lawsuits filed by Qualcomm all pertain to patents used by Apple in its iPhones and come shortly after the Cupertino, California-based original equipment manufacturer accused Qualcomm of infringing on its own patents with its Snapdragon mobile chips, having filed yet another lawsuit against the company last Wednesday. Apple suggested the contents of the two cases are related and come down to the fact that many technologies powering contemporary iPhones are its own inventions, Reuters reports. The original dispute stems back to early 2017 when Apple demanded close to $1 billion in patent royalty rebates from Qualcomm, suing the company for withholding that money. The two have since started litigation in numerous countries around the world and appear to be up for multiple years-long legal battles.
While the likely outcome of the disputes between the two remains unclear, Apple's case against Qualcomm in the United States may depend on the results of a separate lawsuit filed against the chipmaker by the Federal Trade Commission which raises a lot of points similar to the iPhone maker's arguments, essentially claiming that Qualcomm's patent royalty pricing practices aren't fair and hurt the competitiveness of the market. While Qualcomm's senior management previously said it's expecting the two companies to patch things up and resume their collaboration in the long-term, Apple is now said to be in the process of transitioning its mobile devices from Qualcomm's technologies and may be able to do so as early as next year. The disputes between Qualcomm and Apple may also come to an end should the former end up being acquired by Broadcom that's currently in the process of attempting a hostile takeover and has a better working relationship with Apple.