One of America's leading authorities on technology and telecom policy, Motley is a writer, television and radio commentator, political and policy strategist, lecturer, debater, activist, and policy advisor to The Heartland Institute.
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I loathe thieves. You want something – you pay for it. It really is just that simple. So when it comes to wanton thievery of the magnitude that follows – I get more than a little perturbed.
Computer giant Apple is currently in a huge intellectual property dispute with tech innovation giant Qualcomm. I’m no lawyer (which perhaps affords me some additional clarity of thought which law school eradicates) – but this is pretty cut-and-dry, massive scale theft.
Here’s the deal: Qualcomm has some patented items which Apple needs to make its iPhones and cellular iPads. Qualcomm and Apple negotiated an agreement – where Apple would pay Qualcomm in exchange for permission to use the patented items. Lawyers drafted contracts – and representatives from both Apple and Qualcomm signed them.
End of story, right? Of course not. This is Brave New America – where even blatantly obvious obligations can and will be willfully ignored.
Apple Halts License Payments to Qualcomm in ‘All-Out War’: “Apple Inc. cut off billions of dollars in payments to Qualcomm Inc., turning a contract dispute into what one analyst called an ‘all-out war’ that forced the chip supplier to slash forecasts given only days ago….Shares fell as much as 4.1 percent to $51.05 Friday morning. It was the lowest intraday price since June.”
Get that? The chip supplier forced to “slash forecasts given only days ago” – is Qualcomm. Through no fault of their own, Qualcomm is having its entire company downgraded because of one titanic deadbeat – Apple:
“Apple told Qualcomm it will stop paying licensing revenue to contract manufacturers of the iPhone, the mechanism by which it’s paid the chipmaker since the best-selling smartphone debuted in 2007, the San Diego, California-based company said in a statement. Qualcomm removed any assumption it will get those fees from its forecast for the current period.”
Cue the Apple whining: “‘We’ve been trying to reach a licensing agreement with Qualcomm for more than five years but they have refused to negotiate fair terms,’ Apple said in a statement. ‘Without an agreed-upon rate to determine how much is owed, we have suspended payments until the correct amount can be determined by the court. As we’ve said before, Qualcomm’s demands are unreasonable and they have been charging higher rates based on our innovation, not their own.’”
But there is in fact an agreed-upon rate – codified in the contracts Apple itself signed. Apple may have signed with Qualcomm some bad deals. Apple may have with Qualcomm signed the very worst deals in the history of companies signing deals. But they signed the deals. Pay up, Buttercup:
“For Qualcomm, Apple’s move is a further infringement on its legal agreements with the contract makers of the iPhone.…’While Apple has acknowledged that payment is owed for the use of Qualcomm’s valuable intellectual property, it nevertheless continues to interfere with our contracts,’ said Don Rosenberg, Qualcomm’s general counsel. ‘Apple has now unilaterally declared the contract terms unacceptable; the same terms that have applied to iPhones and cellular-enabled iPads for a decade.’”
One would think that if there was an actual contractual problem – to which Apple could take actual legal objection – they would have done so…prior to an entire decade elapsing.
So: Since Apple isn’t going to pay for Qualcomm’s patents – they’re going to stop all manufacture and sales of iPhones and iPads, right? BWAHAHAHA. Of course not. That’s a good one.
Of course Apple is going to continue to make hundreds of billions of dollars per annum using Qualcomm’s patents. They’re just also going to pocket the billions of dollars per annum they are stealing from Qualcomm in the process of so doing.
Well, maybe Apple is a little short of cash. Oh wait:
Pay up, you frigging uber-rich deadbeats.
[Originally Published at RedState]