Qualcomm claims Apple is behind $7 billion in patent royalty payments

Qualcomm said in a court hearing on Friday that Apple is $7 billion behind in patent royalty payments to the mobile chip firm, which for years supplied parts for the iPhone, reports Reuters.

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The world’s dominant supplier of baseband processors made its comments about the size of Apple’s unpaid royalties in a hearing in one of the cases in federal court in San Diego. Apple has disputed the amount of royalties that it owes to Qualcomm.

In January 2017 Apple sued Qualcomm, alleging the chip supplier demanded unfair terms for its technology (which the company, of course, denied). Around the same time, the Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint in a federal district court charging the supplier of baseband processors with using anticompetitive tactics to maintain its monopoly in the supply of a key semiconductor device used in cell phones and other consumer products. 

Qualcomm claims it went out of its way to offer alternative licensing (which Apple rejected), and that, in suing Qualcomm, Apple is motivated by reducing the cost to make iPhones.