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Intel and Qualcomm agree to help Apple against Samsung

Eye potential future business
Thu Apr 05 2012, 15:15

CHIP VENDORS Intel and Qualcomm have agreed to help Apple in a lawsuit against Samsung by providing source code, according to one of Apple's lawyers.

Apple's seemingly never ending battle with Samsung over smartphone patents will get helping hands from Intel and Qualcomm as the firms hand over source code to support Apple's case. According to Andrew Fox, Apple's lawyer, Intel's and Qualcomm's legal teams have sifted through the source code and agreed to provide it to Apple.

Fox told Bloomberg, "Further non-infringing arguments can be made from that [source code]."

Both Intel and Qualcomm have significant patent portfolios, the size and strength of which can be gauged by the fact that neither firm has been snared in the glut of smartphone patent disputes. Although Intel's chips might not be in many smartphones now, the firm still has a mountain of patents in memory and controllers, while Qualcomm's credits include being one of the main developers of the 3G wireless standard.

In Samsung's Australian lawsuit, the firm has claimed Apple infringes some of its wireless patents. Given Qualcomm's expertise in the wireless domain, it is likely that Apple will use the source code and anything else it can get from Qualcomm to file a reciprocal lawsuit, perhaps over 3G wireless communications.

Both Intel and Qualcomm might also be keen to help Apple if it means a better shot at supplying chips to the cappuccino company. Apple greatly relies on Samsung. Not only does Apple buy processors and memory from Samsung, it also needs the firm for displays, meaning that it is fighting in court against the most valuable member of its supply chain. µ


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