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Apple owes Qualcomm $31M in patents dispute, jury finds

17 March 2019

The jury found that Apple infringed upon two of these patents with its iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, and the iPhone X. The latter three models were also found to infringe upon the third patent covered by the lawsuit, No. 8,633,936. Qualcomm counters that its patents covering the way phones connect to wireless networks are essential to today's smartphones, and it wants recognition - and royalties - for that. "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". That case involves Apple's dispute over Qualcomm's licensing costs.

A US federal judge has issued a preliminary ruling that Qualcomm Inc owes Apple Inc almost $1 billion in patent royalty rebate payments, though the decision is unlikely to result in Qualcomm writing a check to Apple because of other developments in the dispute. There will be billions of dollars at stake in this case.

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Qualcomm said Apple violated that agreement by telling other companies to complain to regulators about similar arrangements.

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.

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"The technologies invented by Qualcomm and others are what made it possible for Apple to enter the market and become so successful so quickly", Don Rosenberg, Qualcomm's general counsel, said in a statement. For example, next month a trial will start up in San Diego that will deal with billions of dollars in royalties. 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. 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.

Apple then filed the lawsuit stating Qualcomm had missed rebate payments, which amounted to almost $1 billion. The trial concluded in San Jose, California, earlier this year, but the judge still hasn't ruled.

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Apple owes Qualcomm $31M in patents dispute, jury finds