Apple accused of sharing Qualcomm's software secrets with Intel in new lawsuit

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in iPhone
Qualcomm has once again escalated the legal war with Apple surrounding modem chips in the iPhone and iPad, with the chip manufacturer now claiming that Apple is in breach of contract because of how it works with Intel -- and what software has been shared with the competition.




The new lawsuit was filed on Wednesday in San Diego, Calif, courts. Bloomberg reports that the suit alleges Apple is in breach of contract regarding the software that governs how the modem chip that supplies wi-fi and LTE connectivity to the devices has been supplied to Intel, in violation of long-standing contracts prohibiting that exchange.

It is not clear when the newest suit will be heard.

A South Korean antitrust ruling in 2016 spawned the battle. Apple subsequently sued Qualcomm, accusing it of withholding nearly $1 billion in rebates as retaliation for cooperating with Korean officials.

Since then, Apple has ordered its manufacturing partners, like Foxconn, to stop paying royalties. Qualcomm returned fire and launched countersuits to challenge Apple's action.

At a hearing in August, a Qualcomm attorney said that the company has seen a 20 percent drop in market capitalization since Apple launched its lawsuit, and that another, unspecified client recently stopped paying royalties as well while waiting for the outcome of Apple's suit. At the same time, an Apple lawyer stated that the company is suing over 18 specific patents, and won't consent to adjudication on a worldwide FRAND license.

The Taiwanese Fair Trade Commission leveled a $773 million fine against Qualcomm over exactly what Apple is claiming Qualcomm is guilty of. The ruling also mandates that Qualcomm remove terms in contracts involving sharing of customer data.

Two days later, Qualcomm filed a lawsuit in a Beijing intellectual property court that alleged Apple infringes the chip maker's copyrights. At the time, it wasn't clear what patents were being asserted -- but the revelations from Tuesday show it to be non-LTE modem related technologies.

On Thursday, Qualcomm declared a 89.7 percent decline in profits between the $778 million fine from Taiwanese regulators, and the ongoing legal scrum with Apple.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 20
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,692member
    Right... Total bullshit. They will be destroyed fully and completely and this is just desperation.


    mike180s_Apple_Guybshank
  • Reply 2 of 20
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,128member
    Management's greed and selfishness will be the company's demise.  When QCOM crashes and burns, I hope every idiot executive responsible for this is not only fired/booted out of the company, but out of the industry altogether.  They have zero business being involved in the roles they were in.

    Idiots.  Bite the hand that feeds you and that's what you get.  This lawsuit has "desperation" written all over it.
    bshank
  • Reply 3 of 20
    Burn Qualcomm to the Ground!!!
    viclauyycbshank
  • Reply 4 of 20
    From the Bloomberg article:
    "Apple made an email request for proprietary information from Qualcomm and included an Intel engineer on the distribution list, according to the suit. It also alleges an Apple engineer working with a competitor asked a colleague to request information from Qualcomm on data download technology."
    On the first item, it is not proof that Apple was sharing secrets with Intel. I guess they plan to call the Intel engineer as a witness -- good luck with that. There are a lot of reasons why that might have happened.

    On the second item, which is it -- is Apple sharing Q's secrets, or trying to steal them? This seems like two different lawsuits. The latter seems more problematic, but it does not sound like the competitor provided the information, so you're basically suing someone for asking a question.

    Mostly this just shows what a nightmare it is to work with Q.
  • Reply 5 of 20
    roakeroake Posts: 554member
    BREAKING NEWS - U.S. Robotics, long-time makers of the Courier Series V.Everything V.Everywhere, have upset the industry with the surprise announcement of a new standard, Z-modem.LTE, with additional protocols Z-modem.CDMA and Z-modem.GSM.  In a completely new approach to CDMA access, U.S. Robotics utilizes analog tower hops through the CMDA network onto on LTE backbone, eliminating virtually all dependence on IP held by Qualcomm, Inc.  Further shocking the mobile communications industry, U.S. Robotics has assured skeptical markets and investors that they now have the very solid investment support, "of one of the most powerful players in this industry."

    Reports just earlier this year indicated that parent company, UNICOM Systems was attempting to position itself for a buyout, but had no serious interest.  While no official change to financial guidance has been offered, shares were up over 90% in trading after market-close amidst rumors that Apple, Inc. has purchased a 15% stake in the company.

    Calls for comment to Qualcomm, Inc. were not immediately returned.

    At least one major blogger for WSJ.com opined that, if true, this Apple/U.S.Robotics deal could sound a death-knell for Qualcomm, Inc., and by extension considering Apple's reported stake in UNICOM Systems, could bode poorly for competing platforms who would either need to stay on a sinking ship, or pledge fealty to company partially owned by their chief competitor.  While the industry did not take quite as dire a view of Qualcomm, Inc's future if the rumors held true, it was clear that game had changed, Qualcomm, Inc. had found itself somewhere outside the playing field, likely being regulated to a chip foundry rather than an IP licensing corporation.
    tenthousandthingslarryacalijony0
  • Reply 6 of 20
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,113member
    From the Bloomberg article:
    "Apple made an email request for proprietary information from Qualcomm and included an Intel engineer on the distribution list, according to the suit. It also alleges an Apple engineer working with a competitor asked a colleague to request information from Qualcomm on data download technology."
    On the first item, it is not proof that Apple was sharing secrets with Intel. I guess they plan to call the Intel engineer as a witness -- good luck with that. There are a lot of reasons why that might have happened.

    On the second item, which is it -- is Apple sharing Q's secrets, or trying to steal them? This seems like two different lawsuits. The latter seems more problematic, but it does not sound like the competitor provided the information, so you're basically suing someone for asking a question.

    Mostly this just shows what a nightmare it is to work with Q.
    Including the intel engineer in the email distribution list seems to imply nothing underhand was happening. more they were all working together. Intel pays Q royalties too.
    edited November 2017 bshank
  • Reply 7 of 20
    larryalarrya Posts: 491member
    When QComm is gone, who will make Android CPUs?  I guess they’ll all be Chinese Kirins. 
  • Reply 8 of 20
    sergiozsergioz Posts: 202member
    I really don’t like Qualcomm’s unfair monopolistic behavior! 

    But I love tech. drama! Looks like Appple is buying time at Qualcomm’s expense.

    Honestly from what I see, new 5G modem from Intel is very good, they’ve cought up quick!

  • Reply 9 of 20
    roake said:
    BREAKING NEWS - U.S. Robotics, long-time makers of the Courier Series V.Everything V.Everywhere, have upset the industry with the surprise announcement of a new standard, Z-modem.LTE, with additional protocols Z-modem.CDMA and Z-modem.GSM.  In a completely new approach to CDMA access, U.S. Robotics utilizes analog tower hops through the CMDA network onto on LTE backbone, eliminating virtually all dependence on IP held by Qualcomm, Inc.  Further shocking the mobile communications industry, U.S. Robotics has assured skeptical markets and investors that they now have the very solid investment support, "of one of the most powerful players in this industry."

    Reports just earlier this year indicated that parent company, UNICOM Systems was attempting to position itself for a buyout, but had no serious interest.  While no official change to financial guidance has been offered, shares were up over 90% in trading after market-close amidst rumors that Apple, Inc. has purchased a 15% stake in the company.

    Calls for comment to Qualcomm, Inc. were not immediately returned.

    At least one major blogger for WSJ.com opined that, if true, this Apple/U.S.Robotics deal could sound a death-knell for Qualcomm, Inc., and by extension considering Apple's reported stake in UNICOM Systems, could bode poorly for competing platforms who would either need to stay on a sinking ship, or pledge fealty to company partially owned by their chief competitor.  While the industry did not take quite as dire a view of Qualcomm, Inc's future if the rumors held true, it was clear that game had changed, Qualcomm, Inc. had found itself somewhere outside the playing field, likely being regulated to a chip foundry rather than an IP licensing corporation.
    As far as I can tell, you made up this entire story.
    llamaksec
  • Reply 10 of 20
    Apple is a dishonest company, stemming from Steve Jobs' categorization of employees as "pirates". Basically Apple steals intellectual property and most successfully from individuals like me. I wrote the "What will Your Verse Be?" Robin Williams Dead Poets speech that Apple stole to sell iPads with. I designed it to offer hope to suicidal teeagers, but Apple repurposed it without my permission via a Harvey Weinstein theft to make millions of dollars. I have given Apple ample proof of my authorship, they refuse even to contact me. Apple should pay the people it has cheated and pay its taxes without equivocation. It is the largest company in the world, society has tolerated their thieving for decades, and it is certainly time that Apple pulls its own weight.
    colinng
  • Reply 11 of 20
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    roake said:
    BREAKING NEWS - U.S. Robotics, long-time makers of the Courier Series V.Everything V.Everywhere, have upset the industry with the surprise announcement of a new standard, Z-modem.LTE, with additional protocols Z-modem.CDMA and Z-modem.GSM.  In a completely new approach to CDMA access, U.S. Robotics utilizes analog tower hops through the CMDA network onto on LTE backbone, eliminating virtually all dependence on IP held by Qualcomm, Inc.  Further shocking the mobile communications industry, U.S. Robotics has assured skeptical markets and investors that they now have the very solid investment support, "of one of the most powerful players in this industry."

    Reports just earlier this year indicated that parent company, UNICOM Systems was attempting to position itself for a buyout, but had no serious interest.  While no official change to financial guidance has been offered, shares were up over 90% in trading after market-close amidst rumors that Apple, Inc. has purchased a 15% stake in the company.

    Calls for comment to Qualcomm, Inc. were not immediately returned.

    At least one major blogger for WSJ.com opined that, if true, this Apple/U.S.Robotics deal could sound a death-knell for Qualcomm, Inc., and by extension considering Apple's reported stake in UNICOM Systems, could bode poorly for competing platforms who would either need to stay on a sinking ship, or pledge fealty to company partially owned by their chief competitor.  While the industry did not take quite as dire a view of Qualcomm, Inc's future if the rumors held true, it was clear that game had changed, Qualcomm, Inc. had found itself somewhere outside the playing field, likely being regulated to a chip foundry rather than an IP licensing corporation.
    My God I hope you're right and this isn't some sci-fi newsletter bulls**.
  • Reply 12 of 20
    jkichlinejkichline Posts: 1,290member
    Apple is a dishonest company, stemming from Steve Jobs' categorization of employees as "pirates". Basically Apple steals intellectual property and most successfully from individuals like me. I wrote the "What will Your Verse Be?" Robin Williams Dead Poets speech that Apple stole to sell iPads with. I designed it to offer hope to suicidal teeagers, but Apple repurposed it without my permission via a Harvey Weinstein theft to make millions of dollars. I have given Apple ample proof of my authorship, they refuse even to contact me. Apple should pay the people it has cheated and pay its taxes without equivocation. It is the largest company in the world, society has tolerated their thieving for decades, and it is certainly time that Apple pulls its own weight.
    Not to sound rude, but did you have your work copyrighted? Was it your work or was it work for hire?  If you wrote the speech that was given in the Dead Poets Society, were you paid by the movie studio and production for your contribution?  I guess my point is that you can claim someone stole your intellectual property all day, but if it was really yours, you should have protected it with the readily available and generally inexpensive IP protection tools this country offers.

    If you have copyrighted it and can claim ownership by submitting the work to the Library of Congress, then press your case, contact an attorney and sue Apple for damages.  But it sounds like you wrote or provided that speech to Touchstone Pictures and your work for hire agreement likely had anything you produced under contract to be the rightful property of the movie.  If Apple approached Touchstone (or the new owner of the work) and licensed use of the movie speech, then your qualm is not with Apple, but with whomever you contracted with when you wrote the speech.

    So I'm sorry that you have been slighted, but I really don't see how this is Apple's fault.  You produced a speech that is well known and made public by a movie and one which inspired Apple to use that work in an ad.  Apple likely contacted the correct people to purchase the rights to the movie and that segment for the purpose of advertising.  If you don't believe this aligns with your original work-for-hire contract with the script writing team or whatever, then you need to press your case using the ample legal facilities at your disposal.  It sounds like that's not worth it to you so you are just complaining to the "big guy" that they owe you something because you made a bad deal so many years ago.
    calillamajony0
  • Reply 13 of 20
    foggyhill said:
    Right... Total bullshit. They will be destroyed fully and completely and this is just desperation.



    Thats the great thing about civil lawsuits.   Information can be subpoenaed, testamony can be gathered.  

    I'm going to reserve passing judgement until facts are admitted.   This *is* Apple, and the only reason why Intel bought Infineon was because it made Dead Steve Jobs "very happy".
  • Reply 14 of 20
    Burn Qualcomm to the Ground!!!

    Its hard for me to agree with you.   It seems Intel is too busy trying to make chips for Server and Desktop formfactors.

    If you read the LTE 3GPP/GSM RAN and network standards documents, engineers from Qualcomm are constantly listed as active participants.  Intel is hardly anywhere, and Apple isn't involved at all.

    So I too would be very wary like Qualcomm and question how technology and know-how is being disclosed.

  • Reply 15 of 20
    I think Qualcomm is at a stage where they just can't back out now. Failure is an option, but turning back isn't!
  • Reply 16 of 20
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,692member
    Burn Qualcomm to the Ground!!!

    Its hard for me to agree with you.   It seems Intel is too busy trying to make chips for Server and Desktop formfactors.

    If you read the LTE 3GPP/GSM RAN and network standards documents, engineers from Qualcomm are constantly listed as active participants.  Intel is hardly anywhere, and Apple isn't involved at all.

    So I too would be very wary like Qualcomm and question how technology and know-how is being disclosed.

    They're both licensee of Qualcomm, talking about, especially in the open like that, is expected.
    Apple can drag this out for 20 years and not blink, hope Qualcomm loves to suffer.

    If their tech gets into the standard, Apple will make sure to always have some backup to put pressure on Qualcomm and sue at the first breach.
    The current suits are not only about the past, they're a big warning to Qualcomm about their future actions.

    Also, Qualcom is getting their ass kicked all over the place in court and that's a fact.
    This look like something they pulled out of their ass... They're welcome to subpeonas but Apple will also deep fishing into Qualcomm and what they've done over the last decade will only get them in even deeper trouble than they are now.

    Apple now has the money to bankroll whatever competition they can prop up to Qualcomm and for the next few years, Intel makes a pretty good sandbag against their malfeasance.
  • Reply 17 of 20
    GG1GG1 Posts: 177member
    foggyhill said:
    Burn Qualcomm to the Ground!!!

    Its hard for me to agree with you.   It seems Intel is too busy trying to make chips for Server and Desktop formfactors.

    If you read the LTE 3GPP/GSM RAN and network standards documents, engineers from Qualcomm are constantly listed as active participants.  Intel is hardly anywhere, and Apple isn't involved at all.

    So I too would be very wary like Qualcomm and question how technology and know-how is being disclosed.

    They're both licensee of Qualcomm, talking about, especially in the open like that, is expected.
    Apple can drag this out for 20 years and not blink, hope Qualcomm loves to suffer.

    If their tech gets into the standard, Apple will make sure to always have some backup to put pressure on Qualcomm and sue at the first breach.
    The current suits are not only about the past, they're a big warning to Qualcomm about their future actions.

    Also, Qualcom is getting their ass kicked all over the place in court and that's a fact.
    This look like something they pulled out of their ass... They're welcome to subpeonas but Apple will also deep fishing into Qualcomm and what they've done over the last decade will only get them in even deeper trouble than they are now.

    Apple now has the money to bankroll whatever competition they can prop up to Qualcomm and for the next few years, Intel makes a pretty good sandbag against their malfeasance.
    "Apple now has the money to bankroll whatever competition they can prop up to Qualcomm and for the next few years, Intel makes a pretty good sandbag against their malfeasance."

    I agree that Intel is a buffer for now, but after the Qualcomm debacle, I think Apple will try to become more vertical with respect to the modem chipsets. Apple may forge an alliance with Mediatek (which I think have licensed CDMA2000) until Apple can complete their own chipset.

    Apple should hire the brightest chip designers from Qualcomm to design Apple-designed modem chipsets, similar to Apple's hiring of the brightest from PA Semi, Imagination, etc. Let Qualcomm keep the (arrogant) managers. Let Qualcomm keep the cellular system architects there (for development of 5G and beyond), as future cellular systems (4G, 5G, etc.) will now be designed by an alliance of companies (and Qualcomm can't impose their licensing IP shenanigans again).

  • Reply 18 of 20
    larryjwlarryjw Posts: 217member
    Since I own both Apple and Qualcomm stock, I was hoping qualcomm’s prior statement that this was simply about money, which it is, of course, the issues could easily be resolved.

    Since Qualcomm is losing in the courts, one would think Qualcomm’s significantly overpaid suits and Board would see the writing on the wall and preserve stockholders value, at least for now. Long term, they’re dead, as they’ve gone cheap and decided to make most of their money in ip rather than innovation. 

    I dont see any reason to hold on to qcom as a stock. Apple isn’t going to buy them; Apple will innovate around them. 
  • Reply 19 of 20
    GG1GG1 Posts: 177member
    larryjw said:
    Since I own both Apple and Qualcomm stock, I was hoping qualcomm’s prior statement that this was simply about money, which it is, of course, the issues could easily be resolved.

    Since Qualcomm is losing in the courts, one would think Qualcomm’s significantly overpaid suits and Board would see the writing on the wall and preserve stockholders value, at least for now. Long term, they’re dead, as they’ve gone cheap and decided to make most of their money in ip rather than innovation. 

    I dont see any reason to hold on to qcom as a stock. Apple isn’t going to buy them; Apple will innovate around them. 
    Apple definitely won't buy them but may hire some of their modem chip designers.
  • Reply 20 of 20
    ksecksec Posts: 1,491member
    From the Bloomberg article:
    "Apple made an email request for proprietary information from Qualcomm and included an Intel engineer on the distribution list, according to the suit. It also alleges an Apple engineer working with a competitor asked a colleague to request information from Qualcomm on data download technology."
    On the first item, it is not proof that Apple was sharing secrets with Intel. I guess they plan to call the Intel engineer as a witness -- good luck with that. There are a lot of reasons why that might have happened.

    On the second item, which is it -- is Apple sharing Q's secrets, or trying to steal them? This seems like two different lawsuits. The latter seems more problematic, but it does not sound like the competitor provided the information, so you're basically suing someone for asking a question.

    Mostly this just shows what a nightmare it is to work with Q.
    This is, again AI decide to leave out any valuable piece of information or anything against Apple.

    What we dont know yet is if Qualcomm actually reply with those information. As the list should not have an Intel employee in the first place.

    I hardly doubt Apple did not share anything to Intel, given they have unprecedented access to the Qualcomm modem. And likely help Intel to improve their modem. Apple gets to partner with Intel to work on the modem for a few years, once Apple learned enough about all the details and magic of modem, they will decide to make their own.

    I think this might happen in 2020. Or Apple may stay with Intel or Qualcomm, after all the Modem is only going to get ever more complicated, much more so then CPU / GPU SoC. ( Hence I do think the Baseband Modem right now is fairly good value, not the LTE patents price though )
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