Published: Sun, March 17, 2019
Technology | By Lionel Gonzales

Qualcomm awarded $31m in Apple patent infringement case

Qualcomm awarded $31m in Apple patent infringement case

A jury in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California found the iPhone 7, 7 Plus, 8, 8 Plus, and X infringed Qualcomm's patents. The technology helps iPhones quickly connect to the internet and extend their battery life. Qualcomm can now ask the judge for an order to halt further infringement of its patents by Apple. That case involves Apple's dispute over Qualcomm's licensing costs.

While the end of the Qualcomm-Apple courtroom battle is far from reaching its end, a US judge issued a preliminary ruling that might not make Qualcomm happy.

The verdict was part of Qualcomm's worldwide litigation leveled against Apple over technologies used to boost iPhone performance, which has already produced injunctions prohibiting the sale of certain iPhone models in Germany and China. "The stakes in that case are higher: the dollar amounts are staggering, and it goes to the core of Qualcomm's business model".

Don Rosenberg, executive vice president and general counsel of Qualcomm, told Reuters in a statement, "Although the Court today did not view Apple's conduct as a breach of Apple's promises to Qualcomm in the 2013 Business Cooperation and Patent Agreement, the exposure of Apple's role in these events is a welcome development". Apple said it was disappointed with the decision.

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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. The judge sided with Apple in this issue, ordering Qualcomm to pay the $1 billion it owed. The Cupertino, California-based company has accused Qualcomm of using its control over so-called standard essential patents, which covers technology uniformly adopted by telecommunications providers and equipment makers, to extract excessive royalties for the entire patent portfolio, including non-essential patents, that it licenses to smartphone makers.

Qualcomm also suffered a setback with US trade regulators who found that some iPhones infringed one of the San Diego-based company's patents but declined to bar their importation into the United States, citing the damage such a move would inflict on rival Intel Corp.

The company also doesn't plan to pay Apple the $1 billion in rebate payments even if it loses the case. The trial concluded in January and parties are awaiting a decision.

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