The lawsuit was filed in California state court in San Diego and is another front to a massive legal battle between the two companies.
Qualcomm alleges in the latest suit that Apple failed to protect the chipmaker’s software and isn’t allowing an audit to review how the iPhone maker handles the software, an obligation that Qualcomm says is included in their contract. 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.
Notably, the lawsuit comes days after a report that Apple is designing future generation iPhones that don't use a Qualcomm chip at all.
Back in January, Apple sued Qualcomm for allegedly withholding $1 billion in rebates because it complied with Korean regulators investigating Qualcomm. It has since expanded that lawsuit on the heels of a recent Supreme Court ruling, arguing that the license agreements that give Qualcomm a cut of every iPhone manufactured are invalid. Apple requested that its contract manufacturers withhold royalties to Qualcomm until the dispute is resolved. Qualcomm then sued Hon Hai, Pegatron, Wistron, and Compal.
In June, a federal judge ruled that an FTC antitrust lawsuit against Qualcomm can proceed. In July, Qualcomm filed a complaint with the United States International Trade Commission alleging that Apple has infringed on six Qualcomm patents that 'enabled important features and functions in iPhones'. That same month, Apple's contract manufacturers joined its countersuit against Qualcomm saying the lawsuit against them is "yet another chapter of Qualcomm’s anticompetitive scheme to dominate modem chip markets, extract supracompetitive royalties, and break its commitments to license its cellular technology on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms."
More recently, Qualcomm was fined a record $773 million by Taiwan's Fair Trade Commission for antitrust violations. A few days later the company filed a lawsuit seeking to ban iPhone sales and manufacturing in China.
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