Qualcomm scores $31 mn win in patent battle war with Apple

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The jury in the U.S. District Court for the South District of California found that a number of iPhone models - the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X - infringed in varying degrees on three Qualcomm patents. One allows a phone to connect to the internet as soon as it is booted-up.

The Qualcomm patents covered three key pieces of technology.

Although the Court today did not view Apple's conduct as a breach of Apple's promises to Qualcomm in the 2013 Business Cooperation and Patent Agreement, the exposure of Apple's role in these events is a welcome development. There will be billions of dollars at stake in this case.

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"Today's unanimous jury verdict is the latest victory in the worldwide patent litigation directed at holding Apple accountable for using our valuable technologies without paying for them", Qualcomm general counsel Don Rosenberg said.

A third patent related to promoting rich graphics in games while protecting battery life, according to Qualcomm.

A US District Court judge handed down a preliminary decision awarding Apple $1 billion in its case against Qualcomm regarding royalties on modem chips.

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On another front in the complex legal battle between two United States companies a federal judge in Southern California on Thursday issued a preliminary ruling that Qualcomm owes Apple almost a billion dollars in patent royalty rebate payments the chip maker is withholding, according to USA media reports. The companies had a falling out in 2016 when Qualcomm - which had been the exclusive supplier of iPhone chipsets for five years - halted quarterly royalty rebates it had been paying Apple.

In the trial that just concluded, the jury unanimously agreed with Qualcomm's contention that it should be paid $1.41 per iPhone relying on three of its patents. The chipmaker has said it ended the rebates because Apple instigated antitrust investigations of Qualcomm and lied to regulators. The trial concluded in January and parties are awaiting a decision.

"Next month's case on licensing [between Apple and Qualcomm] will affect billions of dollars in fees that Apple and most phone vendors pay Qualcomm", Greengart said. Apple wasn't so lucky in Germany, where a Munich court blocked the sales of certain older iPhones that use chips from Intel.

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