Jury decision means Apple must pay Qualcomm $31 million

Doris Richards
March 16, 2019

A jury ruled today Apple owes chip maker Qualcomm $31 million for violating three patents for tech used in some models of the iPhone. Still, it's one small part of a global battle between the companies that is headed for a bigger test next month. "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 USA federal court, and around the world", the Cupertino, California, company said. "While we are disappointed with the outcome, we thank the jury for their service in this case". Today's ruling is unrelated to the patent fight that both companies are embroiled in, but pertains to the matter of patent royalty rebates. The infringement verdict covers iPhone 7, 8, and X - not the latest models.

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.
USA courts have been unwilling to order outright sales bans and favor financial remedies.

"The technologies invented by Qualcomm and others are what made it possible for Apple to enter the market and become so successful so quickly", Qualcomm general counsel Don Rosenberg said in a 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. About 1.4 billion smartphones were sold past year, according to IDC.

Apple Loses Patent Case to Qualcomm: Here’s What It Means
Jury decision means Apple must pay Qualcomm $31 million

Qualcomm, in turn, alleged that it stopped paying the rebate payments because Apple had broken the agreement by urging other smartphone makers to complain to regulators and making "false and misleading" statements to the Korean Fair Trade Commission, which was investigating Qualcomm over antitrust allegations.

Qualcomm also suffered a setback with USA 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 $31 million penalty is small change for Apple, the second most valuable USA company after Microsoft Corp, with a market value of $866 billion and annual revenue totaling hundreds of billions of dollars.

A US District Court judge handed down a preliminary decision awarding Apple $1 billion in its case against Qualcomm regarding royalties on modem chips.


Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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