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Foxconn not in settlement talks with Qualcomm in Apple battle

San Francisco

THE lead attorney for the group of Apple Inc device assemblers seeking at least US$9 billion in damages from Qualcomm Inc said on Sunday the contract manufacturers are not in settlement talks with the mobile chip supplier and are "gearing up and heading towards the trial" in April.

The conflict is but one aspect of the global legal battle between regulators, Apple and Qualcomm, which supplies modem chips that help phones connect to wireless data networks.

Last week, Qualcomm secured a preliminary victory in a patent lawsuit in China that would have banned sales of some Apple iPhones there. Apple later said it believed it was already in compliance but would change its software "to address any possible concern" about its compliance. But Qualcomm was also handed a setback in an antitrust lawsuit brought against it by the US Federal Trade Commission when a judge said it will not be able to mention that Apple ditched Qualcomm chips for competing ones from Intel Corp when the case goes to trial next month.

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Qualcomm representatives did not immediately return a request for comment on Sunday outside of US business hours.

The group of contract manufacturers - which includes Foxconn parent Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd, Pegatron Corp, Wistron Corp and Compal Electronics Inc - became embroiled in the dispute between Apple and Qualcomm last year. REUTERS