Apple and Qualcomm bring their global legal fight to an end

17 April, 2019, 13:32 | Author: Sammy Rose
  • Qualcomm and Apple Settle Long-Running Patent Royalty Dispute

It was expected that the trial would last until May, but here we are.

Qualcomm stock was trading at roughly $58 per share before the news broke, and is now trading at nearly $70 per share. It's Qualcomm's best day since 1999.

Apple had been seeking at least $1 billion for money that Qualcomm was supposed to rebate as part of an earlier licensing agreement. Our subscribers rely on FierceWireless as their must-read source for the latest news, analysis and data on this increasingly competitive marketplace.

The Trump administration is said to be interested in settling to support Qualcomm as a counter-balance to Chinese rivals. Adding this sort of new connectivity means Qualcomm working WITH Apple to design their next-generation chip - which is a different situation (in a few different ways) from what goes on with Android smartphone makers.

Apple and Qualcomm have kicked off their billion dollar antitrust trial in San Diego. Qualcomm demanded $7 billion in royalties while Apple asked for $27 billion in compensation for unfair business practices.

Intel's decision leaves Qualcomm as the sole supplier of chips for Apple's iPhones.

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Meanwhile, the Federal Trade Commission also sued Qualcomm in January 2017; that case was finally heard in January 2019. The settlement includes a payment from Apple to Qualcomm, although the companies did not specify the amount.

Apple argued that Qualcomm was abusing its position as one of the only suppliers for cellular technology, and Qualcomm contended that Apple was withholding payments that the two companies had hammered out as part of a royalty agreement. The companies have also signed a separate chipset supply agreement and the official announcement doesn't say for how long beyond the fact that it's a "multiyear" agreement.

Meanwhile, by the end of 2018, Qualcomm had secured a ban on the sale of certain iPhones in China and Germany - again for patent violations - but Apple may still appeal.

After years of global litigation, Apple and Qualcomm have settled all disputes. "We are very excited about the opportunity in 5G and the "cloudification" of the network, but in the smartphone modem business it has become apparent that there is no clear path to profitability and positive returns", said Intel CEO Bob Swan. With a mobile network transition toward 5G technology underway and Intel's 5G modems stumbling, and Qualcomm's 5G Snapdragon family looking good, Apple may have chosen to pay Qualcomm rather than face potential supply chain problems with Intel.

Apple and Qualcomm have ended their contentious legal battle over microchip royalties with a surprise agreement to drop all litigation worldwide.

This morning, during his opening statement on behalf of Apple, attorney Ruffin Cordell from Fish & Richardson discussed how Qualcomm's royalties are based on the retail price of a phone.

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