Netease Technologies News, March 15, Reuters reported that a federal judge in the United States has made a preliminary ruling that Qualcomm owes Apple nearly $1 billion in patent royalties rebates. However, the ruling is unlikely to prompt Qualcomm to issue a cheque to Apple, as the case also involves other disputes.
Gonzalo Curiel, a District Court judge in Southern California, ruled on Thursday that Qualcomm, the worlds largest supplier of mobile chips, had an obligation to pay Apple nearly $1 billion in rebates, which had been using Qualcomms modem chips for years to connect the iPhone to wireless data networks.
The money was part of a commercial cooperation agreement between the two companies. Overall, Apples iPhone factory pays Qualcomm billions of dollars a year for patent licensing fees to use Qualcomms patented technology on the iPhone, which Apple pays for the factory.
At the same time, Qualcomm and Apple have reached another cooperation agreement. Under the agreement, Qualcomm will pay Apple a rebate on the licensing fee for the iPhone if Apple agrees not to sue the court or regulator.
In a lawsuit filed two years ago, Apple sued Qualcomm for not paying nearly $1 billion in patent royalties rebates, violating the cooperation agreement. Qualcomm claims that the company stopped paying rebates because Apple violated the agreement, urging other smartphone manufacturers to complain to regulators and to issue a false and misleading statement to the Korea Fair Trade Commission, which is investigating Qualcomms anti-monopoly allegations.
Apple responded that in the ongoing investigation, the companys approach was to respond legally to regulators.
Judge Kurell apparently supported Apples claim and ruled that Qualcomm owed Apple no rebate. Qualcomms illegal business practices are damaging Apple and the industry as a whole, Apple said in a statement.
Don Rosenberg, executive vice president and general counsel of Qualcomm, said: Although the court today does not believe that Apples actions violate its commitment to Qualcomm in the Business Cooperation and Patent Agreement signed in 2013, the exposure of Apples role in these events is still a welcome development.
Judge Kuriers ruling is not final, and the final ruling will not be issued until the case is heard next month. Qualcomm is also unlikely to make new payments to Apple.
Under normal circumstances, Apples factories will pay Qualcomm a royalty fee for the iPhone, but they have refused to pay Qualcomm nearly $1 billion.
Qualcomms Rosenberg said that those detained iPhone payments have been included in Qualcomms existing financial statements. He said: Apple has offset the patent licensing fee payable to Qualcomm under the agreement. (small)
Source: Responsible Editor of Netease Science and Technology Report: Wang Fengzhi_NT2541