March 19, 2019

Jury rules Apple owes Qualcomm $31M for patent infringement

17 March 2019, 11:04 | Cameron Gross

Apple Loses Patent Case to Qualcomm: Here’s What It Means

Jury decision means Apple must pay Qualcomm $31 million

"But this does set a precedent that Qualcomm's IP is valuable, even the patents on elements of a phone that are not directly related to wireless standards".

For its part, Apple previously claimed that this lawsuit was brought forward by Qualcomm as a retaliatory move based on its decision to select Intel as secondary LTE modem supplier starting with the iPhone 7. "The stakes in that case are higher: the dollar amounts are staggering, and it goes to the core of Qualcomm's business model".

"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", Qualcomm general counsel Don Rosenberg said in a release announcing the verdict.

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. Another addressed faster downloads and the third covers battery life and graphics processing. That case, which is going to trial in Qualcomm's backyard of San Diego, will have a judge deciding it Apple must hand over royalty payments to Qualcomm for its iPhones.

"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 U.S. federal court, and around the world,"spokesman Josh Rosenstock said in the statement".

In the trial that just concluded, the jury unanimously agreed with Qualcomm's contention that it should be paid $1.41 per iPhone relying on three of its patents. 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.

In the broader licensing fight, Qualcomm has lost billions of dollars in revenue after Apple, through its Asian manufacturers, stopped paying patent royalties in 2017. Apple has sought to dismantle what it calls Qualcomm's illegal business model of both licensing patents and selling chips to phone makers. A judge in San Jose has yet to rule on the antitrust allegations following a 10-day non-jury trial in January.

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