Qualcomm Uses Internal Apple Slides as Evidence in FTC Antitrust Case

BY Rajesh Pandey

Published 21 Jun 2019

Last month, Qualcomm lost the antitrust ruling against it by the FTC in the court. The chip maker went ahead and appealed the ruling. In that ongoing case, the FTC has objected to a move by Qualcomm in which it is trying to show some internal Apple documents without context as evidence in the court.

The original court ruling asked Qualcomm to renegotiate its patent licensing terms with customers and ordered a number of actions for the company to follow.

Earlier this week, Qualcomm submitted certain documents to U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in the case. The documents highlighted the internal slides and memos from Apple in which it had goals to “Create Leverage by Building Pressure” and “Hurt Qualcomm Financially.” These documents were a part of Qualcomm v. Apple trial.

Qualcomm and Apple eventually settled out of court but the chip maker is now using these documents to its advantage in its antitrust trial against the FTC.

The slides were part of Qualcomm’s opening arguments from the Apple trial, in which the company outlined what its attorneys described as a targeted campaign by Apple to attack Qualcomm’s patent licensing model. In them, Apple discussed how to “devalue” the kind of patents held by Qualcomm and “Reduce Apple’s Net Royalty to Qualcomm.”

FTC officials have objected against the submissions of the slides calling it “improper, unfair, and prejudicial.”

“Had the document survived a high-priority objection, an Apple witness may have testified to, among other things, the document’s context and purpose and the meaning of the cited language,” the FTC wrote Thursday.

Qualcomm is also being criticized by LG for trying to freeze the original ruling from Judge Koh against it. LG says that it is currently negotiating chip supply and patent license agreements with Qualcomm and if Koh’s original ruling does not stay in place, it would be forced to sign another unfair deal with Qualcomm. On its part, the San Diego chip maker says that despite LG not having any license at all, it has continued to supply it with the required chips.

[Via Reuters]