SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) - Qualcomm escalated a legal war with Apple, accusing the iPhone maker of stealing secrets and sharing them with mobile chip rival Intel, according to court documents.
The California mobile chipmaker on Monday (Sept 24) added the sizzling accusation in an amendment to a lawsuit filed against Apple last year in California state court in Qualcomm's home city of San Diego.
The modified filing contends that Apple "engaged in a years-long campaign of false promises, stealth, and subterfuge designed to steal Qualcomm's confidential information and trade secrets" in order to help Intel and other rivals field competing mobile chips,
Apple's goal was to buy mobile chips from Intel instead of depending on Qualcomm, the dominant maker of mobile phone processors, the court document claimed.
Qualcomm general counsel Don Rosenberg said in response to an AFP inquiry that the latest filing showed that "Apple has flouted its contractual commitments and misappropriated Qualcomm's property rights in an effort to improve its performance and increase its profits."
In response to a request for comment, Apple directed AFP to a comment the Silicon Valley company made in June of last year regarding its clash with Qualcomm.
"Qualcomm's illegal business practices are harming Apple and the entire industry," Apple said.
"They supply us with a single connectivity component, but for years have been demanding a percentage of the total cost of our products - effectively taxing Apple's innovation."
Apple's ongoing legal battle with Qualcomm includes accusations that the chipmaker has been charging for invalid patents. Apple had long relied on Qualcomm for chips for iPhones, but turned to Intel after the onset of legal wrangling.
Early last year the iPhone maker filed a lawsuit complaining that Qualcomm - which produces chips widely used in smartphones and tablets around the world - abused its market power to demand unfair royalties, and demanded billions of dollars in compensation.
Apple filed similar complaints against Qualcomm in China.
Qualcomm countersued, claiming that Apple breached agreements and encouraged regulatory attacks worldwide on the chip firm.
Last month, Qualcomm settled a long-running antitrust investigation in Taiwan for around US$90 million.
Qualcomm still faces huge fines linked to similar probes in South Korea, the European Union and the United States, while it is also involved in a long-running licensing dispute with tech titan Apple.
Qualcomm in 2015 agreed to pay US$975 million to settle antitrust charges in China.