Qualcomm Says Apple Stole Trade Secrets, Gave Them To Intel


Qualcomm is broadening its legal battle with Apple with new accusations of a "multi-year campaign designed to steal Qualcomm's confidential information and trade secrets," the company said in a California Superior Court filing.

The filing, provided to CRN, alleges that Apple took the trade secrets from Qualcomm and gave them to Intel, so that Intel chips could be designed more effectively for use in Apple's iPhones.

[Related: 5 Things To Know About The European Commission's Ruling Against Qualcomm]

"Apple has engaged in a years-long campaign of false promises, stealth, and subterfuge designed to steal Qualcomm's confidential information and trade secrets for the purpose of improving the performance and accelerating time to market of lower-quality modem chipsets, including those developed by Intel Corporation," Qualcomm said in the filing.

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The purpose of the alleged campaign was "to render such chipsets useable in Apple iPhones and other devices, with the ultimate goal of diverting Qualcomm's Apple-based business to Intel," Qualcomm said in the filing.

The filing does not name Intel as a defendant.

CRN has reached out to Apple for comment. Qualcomm and Intel both declined to comment on the court filing.

Qualcomm and Apple have traded legal accusations for several years, and CNBC characterized the filing as an attempt to pressure a settlement from Apple in a lawsuit filed by Qualcomm in November. The new filing is tied to the November lawsuit, and the new accusations stem from discovery in that lawsuit.

However, according to CNBC, Qualcomm general counsel Donald Rosenberg said that the new case is significant enough to be a lawsuit of its own.

Intel first started supplying some modems to Apple for the iPhone 7 in 2016 after Qualcomm had acted as the main iPhone modem supplier for the previous five years.

A teardown of the new iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max revealed that the devices both include an Intel modem, and did not uncover any sign of Qualcomm chips.