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Tim Cook says Apple had ‘no choice’ but to sue Qualcomm

Tim Cook says Apple had ‘no choice’ but to sue Qualcomm


The ol’ sofa analogy

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Tim Cook

Apple chief executive Tim Cook said on the company’s quarterly earnings call today that he views litigation as a “last resort” but that Apple “didn’t see another way forward” in the company’s recent lawsuit against chip-maker Qualcomm.

“You should take from our filing that we viewed it as, we didn’t see another way forward,” Cook said in response to an analyst’s question about the high-profile lawsuit. “[Qualcomm was] insisting on charging royalties for technologies that they had nothing to do with,” he said, claiming that as Apple innovated with new features like its TouchID fingerprint sensors or advanced displays and cameras, Qualcomm would collect money “for no reason.”

Cook said the situation was analogous to someone “buying a sofa” and then charging that customer “a different price depending on the price of the house it goes into. From our point of view, this doesn’t make sense and we don’t believe it will pass muster in the courts.”

Qualcomm Snapdragon 820

Apple filed a $1 billion lawsuit against Qualcomm earlier this month, saying that Qualcomm has been overcharging the consumer tech company for usage of basic patents. Apple’s suit came on the heels of the US Federal Trade Commission filing an anti-trust suit against the chip maker for the same alleged practices.

On the call, Cook also said that Qualcomm “withheld a billion dollars in payments that they owed us and we felt we had no choice ... In terms of where it goes, we’ll see. I don’t like litigation and if there’s another way, that would be great, but at this point I don’t see it.”

Qualcomm did not immediately respond to requests for comment.