Judge awards Apple $1 billion in latest dispute with Qualcomm

DPennington

TechSpot Staff
Staff

It seems as though Apple and Qualcomm never stop sparring, with the latest development in years-long disputes between the companies being a preliminary victory for Apple.

On Thursday, judge Gonzalo Curiel of the U.S. District Court for Southern California ruled that Qualcomm owes Apple nearly $1 billion in rebate payments. Qualcomm, the world's largest supplier of mobile SoCs, supplied Apple with modem chips for iPhones and other devices for years before Apple switched over to Intel.

The rebates in dispute stem from an unorthodox arrangement between the two companies. Third-party factories agreed to pay Qualcomm "billions of dollars per year" for the right to use their patented technology in iPhones. Apple would then reimburse the factories.

In a separate agreement, Qualcomm agreed to pay Apple "a rebate on the iPhone patent payments if Apple agreed not to attack [Qualcomm] in court or with regulators."

In early 2017, Apple claimed that Qualcomm was overcharging them for royalty payments, invoicing them for "technologies they [Qualcomm] have nothing to do with." Qualcomm believes they were justified in halting rebate payments, as Apple made "false and misleading" complaints to the Korean Fair Trade Commission, violating their agreement.

The web of accusations goes even deeper, as Apple's royalty claim was in response to Qualcomm allegedly engaging in monopolistic behavior by working to prevent Apple from using their competitors in South Korea.

It's unlikely that the $1 billion victory for Apple will stand, as many accusations in the suit have yet to be ruled on and the decision will not be final until a trial in April. Furthermore, Apple has already withheld $1 billion in payments to Qualcomm for chip manufacturing, so the entire ruling may ultimately be a moot point.

In addition to the battle over rebates, Apple and Qualcomm continuously sue each other over patent violations. This rebate suit is happening concurrently with yet another patent suit between the two companies, which ended with no decision from a jury earlier this week.

Patent image courtesy designer491 via Shutterstock

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petert

TS Evangelist
Guess Apple thought they can win in an US court, bad luck, though I bet Qualcomm has paid a fortune in lawyers fees.

APPLE LOST IN A US COURT - which means their crap was so blatantly low that an US judge could not risk awarding them undeserved claims (cough cough like Samsung case for example).
 
Every time I read these back and forth courtroom victories I envision 2 sea lion bulls throwing their bulk fruitlessly against each other while everyone else goes about their business.
 
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trparky

TS Evangelist
What I seriously do not get is how the hell did Qualcomm get so darn powerful to control what is essentially the standard upon which pretty much every phone in the world works with? If anything, Qualcomm is a company that needs to be broken up and torn to shreds because to hold what is an "essential technology" that the world needs to function on a daily basis hostage should be absolutely ILLEGAL!!! This is like Microsoft, but ten times worse.
 
Qualcomm, Apple, Google, Microsoft, Samsung, etc. all have passels of patents, many overlapping which they use to legally beat the others about the head for fun and profit. The multitudinous, never-ending, seemingly redundant lawsuits are about not letting the other guys get too far ahead legally, and defending their barely discernably different claim on every slight tech innovation of the past 60 years.

tl;dr— their lawyers make the real money
 
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hay fizzy

TS Rookie
Next round will be 5G. Screw you Apple your competitors will get there 5g chips before you do unless you pay the piper, no can do apple there is a shortage you will have to pay a premium because we can sell these chip to someone else who will actually pay us.
 
Next round will be 5G. Screw you Apple your competitors will get there 5g chips before you do unless you pay the piper, no can do apple there is a shortage you will have to pay a premium because we can sell these chip to someone else who will actually pay us.
Wow dude, show me on the doll where Apple hurt you. You may find life less stressful if you take faceless corporations less personally.
 

captaincranky

TechSpot Addict
Wow dude, show me on the doll where Apple hurt you. You may find life less stressful if you take faceless corporations less personally.
Why, the outrageous propaganda, and astronomical profit margins are handed down by Apple without regard.

Show me on the doll where I can stick the pin and make Tim Cook, (or as Trump calls him "Tim Apple), bend over writhing in pain..