Published: Sat, March 16, 2019
IT | By Lester Massey

US judge: Qualcomm owes Apple $1 billion

US judge: Qualcomm owes Apple $1 billion

A federal jury in San Diego awarded Qualcomm $31 million in damages Friday as part of an ongoing series of patent infringement suits against Apple, which Qualcomm alleges used the company's technologies in its iPhones without paying for their use. Apple is likely to appeal.

Qualcomm has accused Apple of using its technology without paying. "The stakes in that case are higher: the dollar amounts are staggering, and it goes to the core of Qualcomm's business model".

'Qualcomm's ongoing campaign of patent infringement claims is nothing more than an attempt to distract from the larger issues they face with investigations into their business practices in USA federal court, and around the world, ' Apple said. "While we are disappointed with the outcome, we thank the jury for their service in this case".

The rebates in dispute stem from an unorthodox arrangement between the two companies. The damages date back to July 6, 2017, when Qualcomm filed its lawsuit, and covers technology used in the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X.

But anorther legal decision involving Qualcomm and Apple was announced today. USA courts have been unwilling to order outright sales bans and favor financial remedies. Don Rosenberg, executive vice president and general counsel of Qualcomm said that "Apple has already offset the payment at issue under the agreement against royalties that were owed to Qualcomm". "The three patents found to be infringed in this case represent just a small fraction of Qualcomm's valuable portfolio of tens of thousands of patents". About 1.4 billion smartphones were sold previous year, according to IDC. The judge sided with Apple in this issue, ordering Qualcomm to pay the $1 billion it owed.

It seems as though Apple and Qualcomm never stop sparring, with the latest development in years-long disputes between the companies being a preliminary victory for Apple.

While the agreement worked for several years, Qualcomm made a decision to stop paying Apple when it found that the company was making "false and misleading" statements to the Korean Fair Trade Commission, which was investigating Qualcomm at the time over antitrust violations.

Apple has switched to using Intel Inc. chips in its phones.

San Diego-based Qualcomm hailed the verdict as a validation of its technology's importance to iPhones. The trial concluded in San Jose, California, earlier this year, but the judge still hasn't ruled.

Apple then filed the lawsuit stating Qualcomm had missed rebate payments, which amounted to almost $1 billion.

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