US jury awards Qualcomm $31 million in Apple case

Mae Love
March 19, 2019

The jury has ordered that Apple pay US$1.41 per iPhone with patent infringement, which comes to about US$31 million.

Qualcomm shares closed the formal trading day up 2.2 percent to $56.60.

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.

In 2017, Qualcomm accused Apple of infringing three of its USA patents that relating to various technologies that improve aspects of smartphones. One patent allows phones to quickly connect to the internet when switched on, another helps with battery efficiency and graphics processing, and the third concerns traffic management that helps apps to download faster. According to CNET, Apple argued that Arjuna Siva -engineer - made important contributions to the start-up technology while working for the company, so it should have been mentioned in the original patent.

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. US courts have been unwilling to order outright sales bans and favor financial remedies.

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What matters most here is not even the money considering the fact that both companies spent millions in legal fees but the victory which asserts that Qualcomm intellectual property is invaluable.

Maxell Patents 6,748,317, 6,430,498 and 6580,999: according to Maxell, "Eight years before Apple released its first GPS-enabled iPhone and five years before Google launched its first Maps product, the inventors of the '317 Patent were experimenting with ways to deliver navigation services to the small sized screens of cellular phones that were available in 1999". But it does not say much about the value of Qualcomm's entire patent portfolio and was unlikely to spark settlements discussions, he said.

Apple expressed dis-appointment with the decision.

The bad blood stems from allegations leveled up against Qualcomm in 2017 by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) aided by Apple, accusing the company of monopolistic practices that prevented other competition from thriving.

The verdict on Friday in a San Diego federal court follows a two-week trial that pitted two former allies that have become bitter adversaries.

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