Jury says Apple owes Qualcomm for stealing patents

Judy Cobb
March 17, 2019

A jury in a federal court in Southern California ordered that Apple pay Qualcomm for patent infringement for chips used on iPhone 7, 8 and X models.

Qualcomm Inc. won the first USA jury trial in its global dispute with Apple Inc. over how much the iPhone maker should pay for using the chipmaker's patented technology. Qualcomm jumped as much as 3.5 percent before finishing up 2.2 percent at the close in NY trading. There will be billions of dollars at stake in this case.

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"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,"spokesman Josh Rosenstock said in the statement". Another helps conserve the amount of battery power consumed by the graphics processor when in use, and the third covers how traffic flows between the app processor and the modem on a handset. "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". Don Rosenberg, executive vice president and general counsel of Qualcomm said that "Apple has already offset the payment at issue under the agreement against royalties that were owed to Qualcomm". About 1.4 billion smartphones were sold a year ago, according to IDC. Today, however, Qualcomm was the big victor as a USA jury handed the chip company a $31 million judgement in its favor. The judge sided with Apple in this issue, ordering Qualcomm to pay the $1 billion it owed.

For Qualcomm, it shows the San Diego-based company's contribution to the iPhone's success and sets up an even bigger trial against Apple over billions of dollars in patent royalties. Apple wasn't so lucky in Germany, where a Munich court blocked the sales of certain older iPhones that use chips from Intel. The trial concluded in San Jose, California, earlier this year, but the judge still hasn't ruled. Judge Gonzalo Curiel of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California ruled yesterday that Qualcomm owes Apple almost $1 billion in patent royalty rebate payments. Apple has sought to dismantle what it calls Qualcomm's illegal business model of both licensing patents and selling chips to phone makers.

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