According to a new report from Reuters a US federal judge issued a preliminary ruling tonight that Qualcomm must pay Apple nearly $ 1 billion in patent credit repayments. The height comes from Judge Gonzalo Curiel of the US District Court in the Southern California District.
As Reuters explains contract factories that build the iPhone generally paid Qualcomm "billions of dollars a year" to use Qualcomm's patented technology in the iPhone. Apple, in turn, will refund the factories. Furthermore, Qualcomm and Apple had a separate agreement that would see Qualcomm pay Apple "a discount on iPhone patent payments if Apple agreed not to attack in court or with regulators."
Two years ago, Apple sued Qualcomm and claimed that the chip maker had violated its deal by not paying these patent royalty discounts. However, Qualcomm said it stopped paying discounts because Apple urged other smartphone manufacturers to "complain to regulators" and made "false and misleading" statements to the Korean Fair Trade Commission.
Tonight, Judge Curiel came down on Apple's side, stating that Qualcomm must pay Apple the unanswered patent discounts. In a statement, Apple said: "Qualcomm's illegal business practices damage Apple and the entire industry."
At the same time, Qualcomm's VP and Secretary-General Don Rosenberg said the company is pleased to see Apple's role in this deal:
"Although the Court today did not see Apple's behavior as a violation of Apple's promises to Qualcomm in the 2013 partnership agreement, the exposure of Apple's role in these events is a welcome development. "
Despite Curiel's decision, there is still much uncertainty. The decision will not be final until after the next month's trial. Furthermore, Apple's contract factories have already held $ 1 billion in payments to Qualcomm. Qualcomm has therefore already taken this into account in the financial statements, and it does not have to throw a check on Apple.
Apple's contract factories, which under normal circumstances would pay Qualcomm for patent fees owed to the iPhone, have already held nearly $ 1 billion in payments to Qualcomm. Qualcomm's Rosenberg said the retained iPhone payments have already been accounted for in Qualcomm's existing accounts.
"Apple has already compensated the payment under the Qualcomm royalty agreement," Qualcomms Rosenberg told Reuters.
Meanwhile, in the separate Qualcomm versus Apple patent infringement case in San Diego, the jury today left without a decision . Discussions continue tomorrow at 9:00 PM.
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