Apple's royalty payments showdown with Qualcomm set for April 15

Posted:
in General Discussion
A date has been set for a courtroom battle between Apple and Qualcomm in San Diego in April, one set to resolve some of the ongoing patents and royalties lawsuits between the two companies around the world, but while the possibility of a settlement has been raised in a recent Qualcomm interview, Apple's legal team insist this not to be the case at all.




U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel has penciled in the trial to commence on April 15 in a San Diego federal court, later than a February trial that Qualcomm reportedly requested. Along with fitting the suit into the court's existing schedule, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports the judge also believed a delay was needed due to its overall complexity.

While an interview with Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf on Wednesday implied there was the possibility of some sort of resolution between the two companies, despite a report from October claiming no negotiations were happening "at any level," Apple attorney William Isaacson took a moment to advise on the iPhone maker's stance on the matter.

"The parties are going to need to go to trial," advised Isaacson. "There have been unfortunate articles lately that the parties are close to a settlement, and that is not true. There haven't been talks in months."

How did we get here?

The suit is one of a number that Apple and Qualcomm are disputing around the world, largely concerning the area of patent infringement and licensing, specifically for modem technology.

In January 2017, Apple filed a lawsuit against Qualcomm, alleging the chip producer had withheld approximately $1 billion in royalty payments to Apple, in retaliation for cooperating with South Korean antitrust investigations, along with claims of extortion, monopolistic practices, and price gouging. In the suit, Apple claimed Qualcomm insisted on charging Apple "at least five times more in payments than all the other cellular patent licensors we have agreements with combined."

Apple's lawsuit followed shortly after the U.S. Federal Trade Commission stepped in with its own suit, accusing Qualcomm of forcing Apple into a baseband exclusivity deal from 2011 until 2016, by offering lower royalty payments in the form of rebates.

The following April, Qualcomm made its own filing with the court denying Apple's complaint, accusing it of attempting to pay less than the fair market value for access to Qualcomm's standard essential payments, breach of contract, and wrongly inducing regulatory action in a number of jurisdictions, among other issues.

Once the exclusivity period ended, Apple started to diversify its modem suppliers to include Intel, but this partnership was also a source of issue for Qualcomm. In a filing from September 2018, Qualcomm claims Apple stole trade secrets relating to its intellectual property that it provided to Intel, specifically software used to improve the performance of its baseband chips.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 7
    The general reality of the situation is this: Qualcomm needs this dispute resolved sooner rather than later; Apple does not. Apple isn't really hurt by this dragging out for a while, but Qualcomm probably is.

    Apple, for the most part, has the law on its side and otherwise holds most of the cards. Qualcomm has lost the leverage it once had. It desperately needs a strong point of leverage which it can use. And, it seems, it has heretofore not been able to find one.
    edited December 2018
  • Reply 2 of 7
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 996member
    April 15 - how ironic
  • Reply 3 of 7
    In my opinion, QUALCOMM modems are far superior to the ones made by Intel, and I really hope they can settle their disputes and start doing business together again.  My iPhone S Max is clearly inferior to  all of my previously owned iPhones which had QUALCOMM modems.
  • Reply 4 of 7
    bluefire1 said:
    In my opinion, QUALCOMM modems are far superior to the ones made by Intel, and I really hope they can settle their disputes and start doing business together again.  My iPhone S Max is clearly inferior to  all of my previously owned iPhones which had QUALCOMM modems.
    And my new iPhone XS has better reception than the older iPhone 7 it replaced. Go figure. 
  • Reply 5 of 7
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,758member
    Bottom line, Apple must be confident of winning against Qualcomm;s predatory IP double dipping practices. Apple using Qualcomm 5G modem is out of question. Qualcomm what have you done to yourself shooting in your own foot ? God, have mercy on Qualcomm.
  • Reply 6 of 7
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 996member
    kruegdude said:
    bluefire1 said:
    In my opinion, QUALCOMM modems are far superior to the ones made by Intel, and I really hope they can settle their disputes and start doing business together again.  My iPhone S Max is clearly inferior to  all of my previously owned iPhones which had QUALCOMM modems.
    And my new iPhone XS has better reception than the older iPhone 7 it replaced. Go figure. 
    Actual performance is dependent on signal strength, antenna design and the cellular modem. problems in any one of these can easily cancel out gains from another and true comparisons of cellular modems are notoriously difficult to do because of this.

  • Reply 7 of 7
    MplsP said:
    April 15 - how ironic

    Why?
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