U.S. judge rules Qualcomm owes Apple nearly $1 billion rebate payment

Joanna Estrada
March 16, 2019

As noted by Reuters, a jury sitting in federal court in San Diego today, awarded Qualcomm the $31 million it was seeking from Apple after finding that the latter infringed on a trio of Qualcomm patents.

The $31 million in damages works out to $1.41 per iPhone found to infringe one or more of the three patents.

Qualcomm previous year sued Apple alleging it had violated patents related to helping mobile phones get better battery life. Qualcomm was then supposed to reimburse Apple for the fees, provided the company didn't complain to regulators or attack Qualcomm in court.

The rebates in dispute stem from an unorthodox arrangement between the two companies.

5G at the Qualcomm booth at CES International in Las Vegas. A jury announced the verdict Friday March 15 that Apple should pay $31 million in damages for infringing on patents for technology owned
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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". "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".

The trial is a fragment of a legal battle involving Apple and Qualcomm, who are sparing over who invented some of the technology used for key features in smartphones and other mobile devices. Apple said it was disappointed with the decision. Qualcomm is also awaiting a judge's ruling in a case that wrapped up in January where the Federal Trade Commission alleged that Qualcomm uses anti-competitive practices in how it licenses its patents. Third-party factories agreed to pay Qualcomm "billions of dollars per year" for the right to use their patented technology in iPhones. The decision comes ahead of a highly anticipated trial next month between Apple and Qualcomm. "The stakes in that case are higher: the dollar amounts are staggering, and it goes to the core of Qualcomm's business model".

Qualcomm scored a pair of legal victories late past year overseas.

In other cases against Apple, Qualcomm has won sales bans on iPhones in Germany and China, though the Chinese ban has not been enforced and Apple has taken moves it believes allow it to resume sales in Germany.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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