Apple began withholding the payments through its manufacturers last year, after the tech giant filed a lawsuit against Qualcomm claiming that the chipmaker was charging unfair royalties for "technologies they have nothing to do with." However, Qualcomm maintains its technology "is at the heart of every iPhone," and that the royalties are entirely valid.
"They're trying to destroy our business," Qualcomm lawyer Evan Chesler said at the hearing in federal court in San Diego. "They're now $7 billion dollars behind in royalties. The house is on fire and there is $7 billion of property damage right now."The two companies have been locked in the wide-ranging legal battle since 2017, with Apple accusing Qualcomm of unfair patent licensing practices and Qualcomm accusing Apple of patent infringement.
Apple argues that the mobile chipmaker is forcing it to pay for the use of its chips in iPhones and then again through patent royalties, a practice Apple refers to as "double-dipping." However Qualcomm claims it is doing nothing illegal and that Apple has agreed to the business model for years.
Both Apple and Qualcomm have filed multiple lawsuits against one another, with Qualcomm also seeking import and export bans on some iPhones in the United States and China.