Chipmaker Qualcomm Inc. was awarded a significant victory on Friday as courts discovered that Apple had infringed on three separate patents, boosting the company’s stock price, at least temporarily.
In 2017, Qualcomm took Apple to court, alleging it had violated patents associated with assisting cellphones obtaining better battery life. During an eight-day jury trial, Qualcomm asked the jury to award it overdue patent royalties of as much as $1.41 per iPhone that violated the patents.
One challenged Qualcomm patent covers innovation that lets a smartphone rapidly link to the web once the device is turned on. Another handles graphics processing and battery life. The third addresses technology that moves traffic between a phone’s apps processor and modem.
The $31 million in damages– or $1.41 per infringing iPhone– is a drop in the bucket for Apple, a company that briefly ended up being a $1 trillion company in 2018. But it marks an essential success for Qualcomm, burnishing its track record as a mobile components innovator. The win also provides credibility to the concept that much of the business’s innovation is shown in iPhones.
Reuters suggests the jury’s damages award might have more considerable significance if it ends up being factored into the looming billion-dollar royalties match in between Apple and Qualcomm– by putting a dollar value on some of the chipmaker’s intellectual property, the San Diego trial potentially boosts its contention that its chip licensing practices are fair, it stated.
It’s still not clear whether Apple intends to appeal the outcome of the trial. Reuters reports the chipmaker declined to talk about that point, after revealing general disappointment with the result.
The verdict sets the stage for a highly prepared for trial between the two business set up for next month in San Diego. The disagreement, over Qualcomm’s patent royalties with Apple, involves billions of dollars and will be a crescendo in the tech giants’ lengthy legal saga.
Qualcomm wins a battle, but the war is not over
Qualcomm also suffered a setback with U.S. trade regulators who found that while some iPhones infringed among Qualcomm’s patents, the phones would not be banned from importation into the United States, citing the damage such a relocation would cause on Qualcomm competitor Intel Corp.
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission also filed antitrust charges against Qualcomm in 2017– implicating the chipmaker of running a monopoly and forcing exclusivity from Apple while charging “excessive” licensing costs for standards-essential patents.
The business’ legal battle will reach a peak in April when an antitrust case submitted by Apple in early 2017 heads to trial and challenges the structure of Qualcomm’s company model of certifying its patents to mobile device makers and selling them chips.