If your intellectual property is stolen, it can mean big trouble for your business. Depending on the items taken from you, it may mean that you're no longer the front-runner in the industry or lose your competitive edge.
Qualcomm has accused Apple of handing over its intellectual property to Intel in a long-running legal battle between the two companies. The case claims that Apple has funneled proprietary information about the technology the chip supplier currently uses to Intel Corp., a rival.
It's alleged that Apple engineers used the confidential files and software from Qualcomm to help the engineers at Intel create modem chips for Apple's iPhones. While this could be a serious complaint, the issue is that Qualcomm has not provided evidence to support those claims yet. It has stated that it would present evidence based on discoveries already made if the court would allow for a jury trial moving forward.
Qualcomm's filing states that Apple has stolen Qualcomm's confidential information over a period of years, with the latest development being the modem chips that came from Intel. Since those chips were designed, Qualcomm no longer controls the market on the component and claims that its property was used to develop them.
Since 2010, Qualcomm and Apple have worked together. Qualcomm provided the modem chips for iPads and iPhones, but since a 2017 lawsuit over the royalty fees Qualcomm collected, Apple and Qualcomm have been in a bitter dispute. This doesn't seem to be a dispute that will be resolved soon, but it is one to keep an eye on in the future.