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Home / Technology / Apple Loses Patent Case to Qualcomm: Here’s What It Means

Apple Loses Patent Case to Qualcomm: Here’s What It Means



Qualcomm won a victory today (March 15) in the ongoing legal dispute with Apple over cell phone patents, as a jury awarded $ 31 million in damages to the chip maker.

  Credit: Tom & # 39; s Guide Credit: Tom & # 39; s Guide In particular, the jury of the United States district court for the southern California district has decided to break iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X two of Qualcomm's patents and that the iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X also violate a third.

Considering that Apple reported sales of just under $ 265.6 billion during the 201

8 fiscal year, it is not likely that $ 31 million of judgment will sting too badly, but provides Qualcomm with legal support for its argument that Apple has benefited from its technology, especially with an even larger court case looming next month.

"From a monetary perspective, this is not a win everyone – probably both sides spent as much as t The amount of the verdict on legal fees," said Avi Greengart, founder and chief analyst of the research firm Techsponential. "But this creates a precedent that Qualcomm's IP is valuable, even patents on elements of a phone that are not directly related to wireless standards."

MORE: iPhone Banned? Here's what's happening at Apple-Qualcomm Feud

The Apple-Qualcomm controversy goes back two years, with Apple claiming that Qualcomm charges royalties for things that have nothing to do with. Qualcomm disputes that its patents cover the way phones connect to wireless networks are essential for today's smartphones, and wants recognition and royalties for this.

"The technologies invented by Qualcomm and others are what made Apple's entry into the market and has so much success," said Don Rosenberg, executive vice president and general consultant of Qualcomm in a statement announcing the legal victory. "The three patents discovered in this case represent only a small part of the precious portfolio owned by tens of thousands of Qualcomm's patents."

For its part, Apple expressed disappointment with the verdict in a statement given to Tom & # 39; s Guide. "Qualcomm's ongoing patent infringement campaign is nothing but an attempt to distract from the most important issues they face in their business practices in the US federal court and around the world," the statement reads.

What are the prospects for Apple vs Qualcomm is much larger

Qualcomm's legal victory today covers a case that is just one of the many legal aspects that take place in classrooms around the world. The most significant case goes to court next month in San Diego, as a federal judge assesses whether Apple owes Qualcomm's royalty payments to the iPhone. Qualcomm is also awaiting a court ruling in a case concluded in January in which the Federal Trade Commission stated that Qualcomm uses anti-competitive practices to license its patents.

"Next month's licensing case [between Apple and Qualcomm] will cover billions of dollars in taxes that Apple and most phone providers pay to Qualcomm," Greengart said. "The stakes are higher in this case: the dollar amounts are staggering and go to the heart of Qualcomm's business model."

Today's decision is likely to have minimal impact on your future iPhone, but could change pending the outcome of future legal cases. "We will have to see what the other broader case will look like next month, but it could certainly have an impact on the value of the dollar associated with the current standard wireless IP," Greengart said.

Qualcomm scored a couple of legal victories late in the year abroad. In China, a court ruled in favor of Qualcomm that Apple violated the chip maker's patents, although Apple is appealing to that decision, while issuing a software update to bring the iPhone in accordance with the court's decision . Apple was not so lucky in Germany, where a Munich court blocked sales of some old iPhones using Intel chips. Other Qualcomm claims against Apple have been filed in some German courts.


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