Qualcomm scores $31 mn win in patent battle war with Apple


Qualcomm Inc. won the first US jury trial in its global dispute with Apple Inc. over how much the iPhone maker should pay for using the chipmaker's patented technology.

The disputed patents pertain to technology for graphics processing and battery power conservation, which the San Diego-based company says improve the efficiency and reduce the cost of smartphones. The case involved a lawsuit Qualcomm filed against Apple in July 2017 alleging the company had infringed upon some of its smartphone tech patents.

Call it Schrodinger's Fortune: A U.S. District Court judge decided on Thursday that Qualcomm owes Apple almost $1 billion in rebate payments, Reuters reports. Apple has sought to dismantle what it calls Qualcomm's illegal business model of both licensing patents and selling chips to phone makers.

"Today's unanimous jury verdict is the latest victory in our worldwide patent litigation directed at holding Apple accountable for using our valuable technologies without paying for them", said Don Rosenberg, Qualcomm executive vice president and general counsel. We are gratified that courts all over the world are rejecting Apple's strategy of refusing to pay for the use of our IP. During one courtroom spat, Apple accused Qualcomm of witness tampering.

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In other cases against Apple, Qualcomm has won sales bans on iPhones in Germany and China, though the Chinese ban has not been enforced and Apple has taken moves it believes allow it to resume sales in Germany. That dispute is focused on Qualcomm's patent royalties with Apple and involves billions, Cnet said.

The verdict on Friday could come into play in the trial in April because it puts a per-phone dollar figure on some of Qualcomm's intellectual property.

The jury agreed with Qualcomm's contention that it should be paid $1.41 per iPhone relying on three of its patents. The most significant case goes to trial next month in San Diego, as a federal judge considers whether Apple owes Qualcomm royalty payments for the iPhone.

Qualcomm in turn alleged that it stopped paying the rebate payments because Apple had broken the agreement by urging other smartphone makers to complain to regulators and making "false and misleading" statements to the Korean Fair Trade Commission, which was investigating Qualcomm over antitrust allegations.