Tech

Qualcomm Wins First U.S. Trial in Global Dispute With Apple

Qualcomm Wins First U.S. Trial in Global Dispute With Apple

"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 USA federal court, and around the world", an Apple statement notes.

In general, the contract factories that built Apple's iPhones would pay Qualcomm billions of dollars per year for the use of Qualcomm's patented technology in iPhones, a cost that Apple would reimburse the contract factories for.

Qualcomm also suffered a setback with US trade regulators who found that some iPhones infringed one of Qualcomm's patents but declined to bar their importation into the United States, citing the damage such a move would inflict on Qualcomm competitor Intel Corp.

Apple wasn't quite as pleased with the verdict.

"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 USA federal court, and around the world", Apple said. However, this marks a solid score for Qualcomm, which is no stranger to legal tussles. The ruling will only become final after a trial, which is set to commence next month.

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As part of the 2013 Business Cooperation and Patent Agreement between the companies, the chipmaker made "sizeable quarterly payments" to Apple to offset its licensing fees until 2016, according to a CNET report.

"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 USA federal court, and around the world", said an Apple representative in a statement to the press. Separately, Qualcomm and Apple had a cooperation agreement under which Qualcomm would pay Apple a rebate on the iPhone patent payments if Apple agreed not to attack in court or with regulators.

Today's ruling is likely to have little impact on your future iPhone, but that could change pending the results of future legal cases. The judge's decision will be on pause until after a trial in the case.

Qualcomm scored a pair of legal victories late a year ago overseas. The battle is the latest in a very long history of lawsuits between the two companies. Apple wasn't so lucky in Germany, where a Munich court blocked the sales of certain older iPhones that use chips from Intel.