Qualcomm Slaps Apple With New Lawsuit Alleging Rogue Trade Secret Sharing With Intel

The legal war between Qualcomm and Apple is getting nastier by the minute. The latest salvo is being lobbed by Qualcomm, which filed a lawsuit again Apple on Monday alleging that the company was sharing "vast swaths" of confidential information with Intel.

If you recall, Qualcomm filed a lawsuit in early November 2017 which made similar claims against Apple. These new charges accuse of Apple of ignoring the master software agreement that it signed with Qualcomm, and that it shared trade secrets -- in the form of Qualcomm source code and internal software tools -- with Intel to help its engineers improve LTE modem performance. 

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Apple first began using Intel LTE modems in 2016 for certain SKUs of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. At the time, it was found that Intel's modems didn't always perform as well as their Qualcomm counterparts in other iPhone 7/iPhone 7 Plus models.

Qualcomm General Counsel Donald Rosenberg says that the company is not backing down from its fight with Apple, and is hoping that its latest effort will persuade the two companies to settle their long-running dispute over patents and chip royalties. "Unlawful use of Qualcomm's valuable trade secrets to try to help a competitor catch up irreparably harms us and must not be allowed to continue," Rosenberg told CNBC.

Given the legal drama between Qualcomm and Apple, it should come as no surprise that the latter is relying solely on Intel for its gigabit LTE modems found in the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR. However, two years after the launch of the iPhone 7, and even after the “alleged” trade secret sharing with Intel, new owners of these 2018 iPhones claim that both Wi-Fi and LTE reception is worse compared to previous iPhone models.