May 25, 2017

Qualcomm seeks an injunction to force Apple suppliers to pay up

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Qualcomm on Wednesday asked a court to force iPhone suppliers to keep making royalty payments amid a legal dispute between Apple and Qualcomm. Qualcomm also updated one of its lawsuist to include what it says is more evidence that Apple is interfering with Qualcomm's existing arrangements with the contract manufacturing firms.

"We are confident that our contracts will be found valid and enforceable but in the interim it is only fair and equitable that our licensees pay for the property they are using," Qualcomm general counsel Don Rosenberg said in a statement to Axios.

In its amended suit, Qualcomm says that Apple has been withholding payments to suppliers and encouraging them to similarly withhold those amounts from Apple, all while promising to indemnify the suppliers if Qualcomm takes legal action.

By withholding billions of dollars in royalties so long as Qualcomm defends itself against Apple's claims, Apple is hoping to make litigation unbearable for Qualcomm and, thereby, to extract through a forced settlement what it knows it cannot obtain through judicial process—a below-market direct license. Apple's tactics are egregious.

What's at stake: Apple hopes to reduce the amount it has to pay Qualcomm, but in the mean time it is now in a dispute with a company it relies on for modem chips. Qualcomm, meanwhile, finds itself battling one of its two largest customers.

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Supreme Court to hear Philadelphia case over same-sex foster parents

Photo: Daniel Slim/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court agreed Monday to hear a high-profile case that could reshape the bounds of First Amendment protections for religion.

Why it matters: The direct question in this case is whether Philadelphia had the right to cancel a contract with an adoption agency that refused to place foster children with same-sex couples. It also poses bigger questions that could lead the court to overturn a key precedent and carve out new protections for religious organizations.

Why Apple may move to open iOS

Photo illustration: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Apple may finally allow iPhone owners to set email or browsing apps other than Apple's own as their preferred defaults, according to a Bloomberg report from last week.

The big picture: Customers have long clamored for the ability to choose their preferred apps, and now Apple, like other big tech companies, finds itself under increased scrutiny over anything perceived as anticompetitive.