Apple sued for misappropriation of trade secrets

Glenn W. Peterson

California is home to many technology companies and residents throughout the state use the products created by these companies in their everyday lives. The origin of the technology in cell phones and other devices can be complex and sometimes the source of a legal battle. Such is the case today in a dispute between Qualcomm and Apple.

According to a report by Ars Technica, these two companies have been at odds with each other for a while. Their relationship goes back several years. In 2011, Qualcomm supplied chips to Apple that were used to make iPhones. By 2016, however, Apple began using chips supplied by Intel instead of those supplied by Qualcomm. The reason given for the switch was the supposed lower cost of the Intel parts compared to the Qualcomm parts. The most current versions of iPhones feature Intel chips.

Qualcomm has initiated legal action against Apple alleging that Apple stole or misappropriated trade secrets that were then given to Intel in order to allow that company to make chips for Apple at a price that could undercut Qualcomm’s. This latest set of allegations follows a previously filed lawsuit in which Qualcomm accused Apple of violating a contract by refusing to allow Qualcomm to conduct an audit to review Apple’s compliance with an agreement.

Apple remains firm in its position that Qualcomm has no evidence to support its claims of wrongdoing against Apple. As the disputes between these two companies unfolds, other companies in California can learn the importance of having a legal consultation when entering into business agreements.