Apple has filed a countersuit against Qualcomm in the latest twist in the battle between the two companies, which has run throughout 2017.
What Apple is alleging is that Qualcomm’s Snapdragon mobile phone chips, which power a range of Samsung and other Android handsets, run into conflict with Apple’s own earlier patents.
The specific infringements relate to at least eight battery life patents Apple claims Qualcomm has violated. The patents let the handset’s draw only the minimum power needed to work, and cause parts of the processor to turn off when they’re not being used.
Apple is seeking unspecified damages in the lawsuit.
Apple’s feud with Qualcomm
The ongoing dispute between Apple and Qualcomm broke out in January this year, when Apple sued Qualcomm for allegedly withholding $1 billion in rebates because Apple assisted South Korean regulators investigating Qualcomm’s business.
Qualcomm then hit back back by claiming Apple had breached its contract with the company. The decision by Apple to withhold royalty payments to Qualcomm meant that Qualcomm then had to revise its earnings forecasts to give a smaller number, due to Apple cutting off one of its major sources of revenue. Apple’s manufacturers also got dragged into the fight, while even Apple’s biggest rivals stepped up to support the Cupertino tech giant.
Since then, the battle escalated — with Qualcomm attempting to ban iPhones being imported to the United States that use chips, “other than those supplied by Qualcomm affiliates.” Apple started using Intel chips in the iPhone 7.
Qualcomm has also sued Apple for allegedly infringing several patents related to helping mobile phones get better battery life.
In other words, everyone is suing everyone — and this thing doesn’t look like it’ll come to an amicable ending (or any ending at all) any time soon.