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Apple's foreign suits against Qualcomm can continue while US case ongoing, judge rules

Apple's 11 international lawsuits against Qualcomm — in places like China, Japan, and the UK — can go on while an original U.S. case is underway, a U.S. federal judge ruled this week.

"Apple's declarations make evident that it has sought to challenge Qualcomm's patent licensing practices and anticompetitive conduct territory by territory," Judge Gonzalo Curiel said in rejecting Qualcomm's injunction request, according to Reuters. "While Qualcomm may object to this litigation strategy as duplicative, the Court will not conclude that Apple's exercise of its rights under foreign laws is vexatious."

Apple spokesman Josh Rosenstock spun the ruling to support the company's legal arguments.

"We are pleased the federal court in San Diego decided Qualcomm must establish the fair value of its technology and defend its business practices in court before forcing Apple and others to pay exorbitant and unfair rates, which amount to a tax on our own invention," he said in a statement.

Qualcomm's VP of public affairs, Christine Trimble, said the company was "disappointed," but acknowledged that "the motions involved high procedural hurdles."

The chipmaker is also facing an antitrust case from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, and a lawsuit originated by four of Apple's manufacturing partners. Qualcomm has launched legal action of its own, including a request for a U.S. International Trade Commission injunction that would block some iPhone imports.