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Qualcomm wins first USA trial in patent dispute with Apple

17 March, 2019, 11:06 | Author: Rafael Roberts
  • Qualcomm

The jury in the U.S. District Court for the South District of California found that a number of iPhone models - the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X - infringed in varying degrees on three Qualcomm patents.

The outcome boosts Qualcomm's contention that its technology provides significant value to smartphones beyond the basic ability to connect to a telecommunications network. That case involves Apple's dispute over Qualcomm's licensing costs. There will be billions of dollars at stake in this case.

"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".

In a statement, Apple said the company is "disappointed" in the verdict. 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.

A third patent related to promoting rich graphics in games while protecting battery life, according to Qualcomm.


In a preliminary ruling, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California ruled that Qualcomm owed Apple almost $1 billion in rebate payments that were part of the business cooperation agreement of the two companies. 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".

For Qualcomm, it shows the San Diego-based company's contribution to the iPhone's success and sets up an even bigger trial against Apple over billions of dollars in patent royalties.

"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", Rosenberg said in a statement. Despite the award, when you consider the $1 billion that Qualcomm will have to rebate to Apple, the latter ended up approximately $969 million in the black. A judge in San Jose has yet to rule on the antitrust allegations following a 10-day non-jury trial in January.

Apple has switched to using Intel Inc. chips in its phones. Apple has sought to dismantle what it calls Qualcomm's illegal business model of both licensing patents and selling chips to phone makers.

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