Qualcomm has been ordered to refund BlackBerry $814.9 million in an arbitration dispute over patent royalties. The two companies had agreed to enter binding arbitration regarding whether Qualcomm's agreement to cap certain royalties applied to payments made by BlackBerry under a license agreement.
The final terms of the award will be issued after a hearing on May 30 but the news has already sent BlackBerry shares up as much as 19%, the most it has gone up in a single day since January 2015.
According to Bloomberg, the refund from Qualcomm will boost BlackBerry’s cash hoard, which stood at $1.7 billion at the end of its fiscal fourth quarter, helping CEO John Chen as he continues to shift the company’s focus to software and security-focused products instead of devices. Given that BlackBerry no longer makes the phones that used Qualcomm technology it argued a refund was due.
Despite the dispute, BlackBerry CEO John Chen said Wednesday that the companies "continue to be valued technology partners,” and BlackBerry will continue to collaborate with Qualcomm for security in the auto industry and in application-specific integrated circuits. Qualcomm on the other hand says while it does not agree with the decision, it is binding and not appealable.