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

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

"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 U.S. federal court, and around the world", the Cupertino, California, company said.

Judge Gonzalo Curiel of the US District Court for the Southern District of California on Thursday ruled that Qualcomm, the world's biggest supplier of mobile phone chips, was obligated to pay almost $1 billion (roughly Rs. 7,000 crores) in rebate payments to Apple, which for years used Qualcomm's modem chips to connect iPhones to wireless data networks. Apple suppliers had to pay Qualcomm to use its technologies in the iPhone. Qualcomm executive vice president and general counsel Don Rosenberg said in a statement to Reuters: "Apple has already offset the payment at issue under the agreement against royalties that were owed to Qualcomm". Apple has sought to dismantle what it calls Qualcomm's illegal business model of both licensing patents and selling chips to phone makers.

But the setting of a per-phone royalty rate for Qualcomm's technology gives the chip supplier a fresh line of attack in its two-year old legal battle with Apple.

The $31 million that was awarded to Qualcomm covers a trio of patents.

While the damages awarded Friday aren't significant to either company, from Qualcomm's perspective, valuing just three of its more than 10,000 patents at $1.41 per phone shows the overall worth of its inventions. As you might imagine, Qualcomm was happy with the jury's decision while Apple said it was disappointed with it. Apple and Qualcomm still have a number of court battles remaining.

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Qualcomm's legal victory today covers a case that's only one of many legal tussles playing out in courtrooms around the world.

The decision will not become final until after the trial in the case, which begins next month. Apple kicked things off with $1 billion lawsuits in the US and China in 2017. 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. "The stakes in that case are higher: the dollar amounts are staggering, and it goes to the core of Qualcomm's business model".

The jury agreed with Qualcomm's contention that it should be paid $1.41 per iPhone relying on three of its patents.

Judge Curiel sided with Apple, ruling that Qualcomm owed the missed rebate payments.

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