Intel has backed Apple in the iGiant's almighty scrap with Qualcomm – which is trying to ban sales of iPhones and iPads in America.
In a missive to the US international trade watchdog, the ITC, Chipzilla roundly condemned Qualcomm: the x86 processor giant claimed Qualy's attempts to halt imports of iPhones and iPads, over allegations of patent infringement, was anticompetitive behavior. Tell that to AMD.
The letter, dated Thursday, was sent in response to the request Qualcomm lodged earlier this month that the ITC prohibit the import and sale of allegedly infringing Apple products, all of which happen to use Intel's radio modems. Suffice to say, Qualcomm also designs radio modems chipsets, which are also used in iPhones and other smartphones, pitching Intel on a collision course with Qualy.
In the filing, made by three Intel lawyers on behalf of the silicon goliath, Chipzilla makes its motivations clear early on:
"Intel is Qualcomm's only remaining competitor in the merchant market for premium LTE baseband processor modems ('modems'). Intel 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," the filing reads.
"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'."
According to Intel's filing, Snapdragon designer Qualcomm is using the patent claims as a way to force Intel out of the baseband modem market. By hitting its clients, in this case Apple, with legal complaints, Intel claims Qualcomm is deliberately trying to throttle out the competition.
"If the Commission entertains Qualcomm's complaint, it should do so with full awareness of Qualcomm's abusive practices and the risks to the public interest from the exclusion order Qualcomm seeks," Chipzilla warns.
The ITC case is one of several fronts in the global feud between Apple and Qualcomm over licensing fees. Convinced it has for years been gouged on licensing fees for technology it does not even use, Apple has refused to pay royalties to Qualcomm and has instructed its factory partners to do the same, causing Qualcomm to lose hundreds of millions of dollars in revenues as a result. ®