Qualcomm, a US-based telecommunications equipment company, has demanded $7bn from Apple for what it claims are unpaid royalties from the iPhone maker, in what has become the latest development in a legal war between the two companies over patent rights.
The dispute began in 2017 when Apple claimed that Qualcomm charge more than it should for technology patents "they have nothing to do with".
"Despite being just one of over a dozen companies who contributed to basic cellular standards, Qualcomm insists on charging Apple at least five times more in payments than all the other cellular patent licensors we have agreements with combined," Apple argued at the time of the first claim.
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The dispute has escalated into a legal battle which analysts predict could last several years, with Apple asserting that Qualcomm has unfair patent licensing practices, while Qualcomm has continued to accuse Apple of patent infringement.
According to Reuters, Apple has disputed the size of royalties owed to the mobile chip provider, arguing that "Qualcomm is forcing it to pay for the same patents twice, once when Apple uses Qualcomm's chip in iPhones and then again through patent royalties".
"Qualcomm has argued that its practices are legal and that Apple is seeking to destroy Qualcomm's business model after agreeing to it for years," Reuters reported.