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Qualcomm accuses Apple of stealing trade secrets for Intel

(Image credit: Image Credit: Jejim / Shutterstock)

In the latest development in the ongoing legal battle between Qualcomm and Apple, the mobile chipmaker has accused the Cupertino-based company of stealing confidential information and trade secrets to improve the performance of rival Intel's modem chips.

Qualcomm's accusations were revealed by a court filing made overnight in Superior Court in San Diego that it hopes will convince the court to amend allegations in its existing lawsuit against Apple over how the company breached their master software agreement.

The company's general counsel, Donald Rosenberg explained the company's position to CNBC (opens in new tab), saying:

"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." 

The agreement between the two companies required Apple to allow Qualcomm to be able to periodically insure that the source code software and tools it shared with Apple were being protected accordingly. The chipmaker argues that it was prevented from auditing Apple's use of its source code which is why it sued the company.

However, now Qualcomm is accusing Apple of stealing the source code and tools to help Intel overcome engineering flaws in its chips that led them to perform poorly in iPhones. According to the company, it discovered that Apple engineers had provided source code and other confidential information to Intel's engineers so that they could improve their chips.

While Qualcomm has not provided direct evidence against Apple, those close to the matter say the evidence includes emails, Apple's source code development history and the code used in iPhones with Intel chips.

We will likely hear more regarding Qualcomm's accusations once the case goes to court in April.

Image Credit: Jejim / Shutterstock

After getting his start at ITProPortal and then working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches to how to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.