From Reed Albergotti’s “Apple said Qualcomm’s tech was no good. But in private communications, it was ‘the best.’” in Saturday’s Washington Post:
During the roughly two years Apple was locked in a legal battle with one of its suppliers, Qualcomm, the iPhone maker publicly argued that the chip maker’s technology was worthless.
But according to an internal Apple memo Qualcomm showed during the trial this week between the two tech companies, Apple’s hardware executives used words like “the best” to describe Qualcomm’s engineering. Another Apple memo described Qualcomm as having a “unique patent share” and “significant holdings…”
The documents [seen by a Washington Post reporter in court] raise questions about the methods Apple used to inflict pain on Qualcomm and whether Apple really believed its own arguments to lawmakers, regulators, judges and juries when it tried to change not just its long-standing business agreement with Qualcomm but the very laws and practices that have allowed inventors to profit from their work and investments. Apple has argued that Qualcomm’s patents were no more valuable than those of competitors like Ericsson and Huawei, but Qualcomm argued in court that the documents show otherwise.
“While it’s very common for companies who are engaged in legal disputes to play hardball, the disclosure of these documents is very unsettling,” said Adam Mossoff, a law professor at George Mason University and director of the Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property. “It potentially reveals that Apple was engaging in a bad faith argument both in front of antitrust enforcers as well as the legal courts about the actual value and nature of Qualcomm’s patented innovation.”
My take: We used to see more of the dark side of Apple when Steve Jobs was still running the show.