Apple, allies seek damages of up to $27 billion in U.S. trial over Qualcomm’s predatory business model

“Apple Inc and its allies on Monday will kick off a jury trial against chip supplier Qualcomm Inc in San Diego, alleging that Qualcomm engaged in illegal patent licensing practices and seeking up to $27 billion in damages,” Stephen Nellis reports for Reuters. “Qualcomm, for its part, alleges that Apple forced its longtime business partners to quit paying some royalties and is seeking up to $15 billion.”

MacDailyNews Take: Put down the pipe, Qualcomm.

“The trial before Judge Gonzalo Curiel will play out on Qualcomm’s home turf of San Diego, where for decades the city’s National Football League team played in Qualcomm Stadium and nearly every business district hosts the mobile chip firm’s logo,” Nellis reports. “For Apple, the trial is about the freedom to determine its own technology path for blockbuster products by buying chips without having to pay what it calls a “tax” on its innovations in the form of patent licensing fees to Qualcomm that take a cut of the selling price of its devices. For Qualcomm, the trial, along with similar allegations from U.S. regulators in a January court hearing, will determine the fate of its unique blend of selling chips and licensing more than 130,000 patents.”

“Apple and other device makers around the world have called the “no license, no chips” policy a form of ‘double dipping’ – that is, charging for the same intellectual property once during licensing discussions, and then again in the price of the chips where the patents are embodied,” Nellis reports. “Apple and allies are asking for an end to that practice and a refund of about $9 billion – an amount that could be tripled if a jury finds in Apple’s favor for antitrust allegations – for contract factories such as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd’s Foxconn, who paid the royalties and were reimbursed by Apple. Apple alleges the practices kept rivals like Intel Corp out of the market for years.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Qualcomm’s reckoning doth approach.

Frosty relationship between Apple CEO Tim Cook and Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf has deepened dispute – April 13, 2019


    1. The lawsuit is about software, not hardware. Any device that can connect to the cellular network uses Qualcomm patents because they are embedded into the standard protocols, no matter who made the hardware.

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