US tech giant Apple's lawsuit against Qualcomm started on Monday, making it the world's largest antitrust case valued at $30bn (£22.9) in damages and compensation.
The opening case takes place in federal court in San Diego, with Apple suing Qualcomm for unfair practices and charges over its technology patents, according to court documents.
Apple will also seek $1bn (£763.4m) in rebates allegedly withheld by competition regulators who opened investigations into over Qualcomm's business model, in addition to $2bn (£1.53bn) in royalties. The Cupertino-based tech firm accused Qualcomm of 'double-dipping' by charging to supply radio chips and later, for royalties on the same chips. But Qualcomm has issued a countersuit, demanded roughly $7bn (£5.3bn) in back payments from Apple as well as billions in damages.
Apple also stated in its complaint that Qualcomm had violated its fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) agreement with Apple by "demanding unreasonable royalties", in addition to "applying royalties discriminatorily" and asserting that patents "essential to the standard when in fact they are not", the court documents said. "Qualcomm is guilty of all three".
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Should Qualcomm lose the lawsuit, it could devastate the firm with massive penalties worth over four times Qualcomm's net income in 2016, worth $5.7bn (£4.1). The court case could also affect Qualcomm's licencing practices which generated 64 percent of the firm's pre-tax earnings in 2018. Despite this, Qualcomm is still Apple's the only supplier of 5G radio chips, with US chipmaker Intel currently unable to meet Apple's demands for next year's iPhone lineup.
The news comes after Qualcomm won a lawsuit against Apple in a Munich court in December last year, with looming threats of a ban of iPhone sales across Germany pending. The case found that Germany could impose an injunction banning Apple's iPhone 7plus, 7, 8, 8plus, and X models. Apple suffered losses in a prior court case in early December over a Chinese court's decision to ban iPhone sales over similar patent disputes.