Intel has accused Qualcomm of creating a monopoly in mobile chips and not licensing essential patents at a fair rate as per the law. The company made the allegation of Qualcomm following anti-competitive strategies in a public statement to the US International Trade Commission (ITC).
The statement comes in response to Qualcomm’s suit against Apple alleging that the iPhone maker was breaching on six of Qualcomm’s mobile patents that aided the iPhone’s battery life. Now, in this new filing to the ITC submitted late Thursday afternoon, Intel described Qualcomm’s request as an anticompetitive tactic to keep rivals like Intel out of the modem market that Qualcomm dominates.
“Qualcomm did not initiate this investigation to stop the alleged infringement of its patent rights; rather, its complaint is a transparent effort to stave off lawful competition from Qualcomm’s only remaining rival’’ Intel writes in its filing to the ITC.
According to the Intel, it has invested billions of dollars to develop next generation advanced modems and technologies to improve the performance and functionality of modern smartphones and cellular communications.
“Qualcomm now seeks exclusion of allegedly infringing Apple mobile electronic products that include a modem made by Intel, so that they can be “replace[d]” by allegedly infringing Apple products that use a Qualcomm brand baseband processor modem,” the company further writes in the filing.
Qualcomm, the mobile chip maker filed a complaint with the ITC earlier this month, claiming that the iPhone breaches on six of its mobile patents. Qualcomm started the legal fight with Apple by asking the ITC to ban the import of Intel-equipped iPhones. Its exclusion request targeted only iPhones with Intel modems, but not iPhones with Qualcomm modems.
So, it would obviously fence Intel out of the premium LTE market for some unrelated reasons. Despite the merits of its products, it would be out of the competition. “Such an order would cause harm to competitive conditions because it would outright eliminate competition’’ Intel says.
Qualcomm had been the sole provider of modems in the iPhone for years. But Apple started using Intel cellular modems for some versions of the iPhone 7.
Intel also claimed that Qualcomm has a long history of anti-competitive behavior. ” This twisted use of the Commission’s process is just the latest in a long line of anticompetitive strategies that Qualcomm has used to quash incipient and potential competitors and avoid competition on the merits’’ quoted Intel in the filing.
Intel further accused Qualcomm of entering into an agreement with Apple to use its chips exclusively for lower licensing fees. That will for sure exclude competitors and harm the competition.
Apple previously paid the licensing fee through its manufacturers. But back in April, Apple stopped paying iPhone royalties to Qualcomm. Apple said it’s been trying to reach a licensing agreement with Qualcomm for more than five years, but the terms offered by Qualcomm weren’t fair.
Intel also said the ban of intel modem equipped iPhones that Qualcomm is asking for would result in more expensive iPhones for US consumers and also “stifle future innovation.” The ITC will supposedly start examining the complaint in August.