According to a new report by Reuters a US federal judge issued a preliminary ruling this evening that Qualcomm has to pay Apple nearly $ 1 billion in patent rights rebate payments. The ruling comes from Judge Gonzalo Curiel of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California.
Like Reuters explains, the contract factories that build the iPhone generally pay Qualcomm's "billions" of dollars a year "to use the Qualcomm's patented technology in the iPhone. In turn, Apple would reimburse the factories. In addition, Qualcomm and Apple had a separate agreement that would see Qualcomm pay Apple "a reduction on iPhone patent payments if Apple had agreed not to attack in court or with the regulators. "
Two years ago, Apple sued Qualcomm and claimed that the chip maker had violated their agreement by not paying such discounts on patent royalties. Qualcomm, however, said it stopped pay rebates because Apple encouraged other smartphone makers to "complain to regulators" and made "false and misleading" statements to the Korean Fair Trade Commission.
This evening, Judge Curiel is on I know from Apple, stating that Qualcomm has to pay Apple the repayment of missing patents. In a statement, Apple said: "Qualcomm's illegal business practices are hurting Apple and the entire industry."
Meanwhile, Qualcomm VP and general counsel Don Rosenberg said the company is pleased to see Apple's role in this agreement:
"Although the court today did not consider Apple's conduct as a violation of Apple's promises to Qualcomm in the 2013 cooperation and patents agreement for business, the exposure of Apple's role in these events is a positive development. "
Despite Curiel's sentence, however, c & # 39; is still very undecided. The decision will not be final until after the trial next month. Furthermore, Apple's contract factories have already withheld $ 1 billion in payments to Qualcomm. Therefore, Qualcomm has already taken this into account in its financial statements and will not need to cut a check to Apple.
Apple's contract factories, which under normal circumstances would have paid Qualcomm for patent rights owed on iPhones, have already withheld nearly $ 1 billion in payments to Qualcomm. Qualcomm's Rosenberg said that retained iPhone payments have already been recorded in Qualcomm's existing financial statements.
"Apple has already compensated for the payment in question on the basis of the royalties due to Qualcomm," Rosenberg told Qualcomm's Reuters.
Meanwhile, in Qualcomm's specific case against Apple's patent infringement pending in San Diego, the jury started today without a decision . The resolutions continue tomorrow morning at 9:00 PT.
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