18 Mar

The Latest on the Apple-Qualcomm Legal Battle

WRITTEN BY Sean Allen FEATURED IN Company News, Insights, & Analysis and Tech & Comm Services

Apple owes Qualcomm $31 million

Apple’s (AAPL) legal fight with Qualcomm (QCOM) continued earlier this month. The jury agreed with Qualcomm’s claim that Apple had infringed on three of its patents, ordering it to pay $31 million in damages to Qualcomm.

However, that $31 million could be minimal compared with what Qualcomm may have to pay Apple. Last week, according to Reuters, a US federal judge issued a preliminary ruling that the chip maker owes Apple ~$1 billion in patent royalty rebate payments. However, the decision is not expected to be finalized until next month.

Apple filed a suit against Qualcomm in 2017, claiming that the chip maker had not paid patent royalty rebates as set out in the companies’ agreement. Even if Apple wins the $1 billion suit next month, the chip maker may not have to pay Apple, as the iPhone maker may have withheld ~$1 billion in payments to Qualcomm.

The Latest on the Apple-Qualcomm Legal Battle

Affecting both companies

The legal battle has affected both companies, especially Qualcomm, whose biggest customer was Apple. As the graph above shows, Qualcomm’s growth has suffered.

Meanwhile, while Apple has since shifted to Intel (INTC), other smartphone vendors have moved ahead of Apple by launching 5G[1.fifth-generation]-compatible smartphones. Being able to use Qualcomm’s 5G modems could have expedited the launch of Apple’s 5G phones, which are now expected to be launched in 2020.

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