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Cook defends his Qualcomm lawsuit

by on03 February 2017

We had no choice

The fruity tax-dodging convicted cartel leader Tim Cook has been climbing on his high horse to claim that Apple was morally bound to sue Qualcomm.

Apple chief executive Tim Cook said Apple saw litigation as a “last resort” but that Apple “didn’t see another way forward” to make Qualcomm do what it is told.

“You should take from our filing that we viewed it as, we didn’t see another way forward. Qualcomm was insisting on charging royalties for technologies that they had nothing to do with,” he said.

This included things that Apple had innovated with new features like its TouchID fingerprint sensors or displays and cameras. Qualcomm would collect money “for no reason”.

Cook said the situation was analogous to someone “buying a sofa” and then charging that customer “a different price depending on the price of the house it goes into. From our point of view, this doesn’t make sense and we don’t believe it will pass muster in the courts”.

Apple claimed that Qualcomm had been overcharging the consumer tech company for usage of basic patents. Apple’s suit came on the heels of the US Federal Trade Commission filing an anti-trust suit against the chip maker for the same alleged practices. It is worthwhile pointing out that the US FTC case is unlikely to go ahead after the person who has become the new commissioner thinks the entire case is flaky.

Cook claimed that Qualcomm “withheld a billion dollars in payments that they owed us and we felt we had no choice ... In terms of where it goes, we’ll see. I don’t like litigation and if there’s another way, that would be great, but at this point I don’t see it”.

However, this all smacks of the sort of spin we expect from Apple. The case is more about Apple trying to squeeze discounts from Qualcomm by killing off its licensing model. For all that Qualcomm has had problems with regulators in the past, none of them have ever questioned its licencing model.

Qualcomm said it would defend its business model in courts around the world. Qualcomm President Derek Aberle said there had been no sudden change in the law to make this practice improper, and it remains the most efficient and fair method of licensing.

Last modified on 03 February 2017
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