Apple's ongoing legal battle with Qualcomm includes accusations that the chipmaker has been charging for invalid patents and claiming the chipmaker was seeking a disproportionate amount for a single component. Another deals with graphics processing and battery life. Apple kicked things off with $1 billion lawsuits in the US and China in 2017.
Qualcomm was awarded $31 million in damages from July 6, 2017, the date the lawsuit was filed, through the end of the trial.
"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 United States federal court, and around the world", the statement read. The Cupertino, California-based company has accused Qualcomm of using its control over so-called standard essential patents, which covers technology uniformly adopted by telecommunications providers and equipment makers, to extract excessive royalties for the entire patent portfolio, including non-essential patents, that it licenses to smartphone makers.
Judge Gonzalo Curiel of the U.S. 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 in rebate payments to Apple, which for years used Qualcomm's modem chips to connect iPhones to wireless data networks.
For its part, Apple expressed disappointment with the verdict in a statement provided to Tom's Guide.
It's hard to believe the arrangement between Qualcomm and Apple was established in the first place. 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".
Qualcomm also suffered a setback with USA trade regulators who found that some iPhones infringed one of the San Diego-based company's patents but declined to bar their importation into the United States, citing the damage such a move would inflict on rival Intel Corp.
This legal victory for Qualcomm is just the warmup from another showdown that will take place in the USA next month (April 15).
Qualcomm in turn alleged that it stopped paying the rebate payments because Apple had broken the agreement by urging other smartphone makers to complain to regulators and making "false and misleading" statements to the Korean Fair Trade Commission, which was investigating Qualcomm over antitrust allegations.
Gaston Kroub, a patent lawyer in NY not involved in the case, said the verdict was clearly a win for Qualcomm.
"Apple is very skilled at handling appeals and taking a longer-term view".