According to a recent report from Reuters a US federal judge issued a preliminary ruling this evening demanding that Qualcomm pay Apple a patent fine of nearly $ 1 billion. The verdict comes from Judge Gonzalo Curiel of the US District Court for the Southern District of California.
As Reuters explains, factories building the iPhone generally pay Qualcomm billions of dollars a year "to use Qualcomm's patented technology on the iPhone. In return, Apple would refund the factories. In addition, Qualcomm and Apple had a separate agreement whereby Qualcomm would pay Apple "a rebate on iPhone patent payments if Apple agrees not to challenge in court or with regulators." The chip manufacturer had violated his agreement by not paying these patent license discounts. However, Qualcomm said it had stopped paying the rebates because Apple encouraged other smartphone makers to "complain to regulators" and made "false and misleading" statements to the Korean Fair Trade Commission and ruled that Qualcomm Apple has to pay the missed patent rebate payments. In a statement, Apple said, "Qualcomm's illegal practices harm Apple and the industry as a whole."
Meanwhile, Qualcomm's Vice President and General Counsel Don Rosenberg said the company is pleased with Apple's role in this agreement: "Although the Court today does not consider Apple's conduct in violation of Apple's commitments to Qualcomm in the Business Cooperation and Patent Agreement 2013, disclosure of Apple's role in these events is a welcome development. "
Despite the judgment of Curiel, there is still a lot of undecided. The decision will become final after the next month's trial. In addition, Apple's contract factories have already withheld $ 1 billion in Qualcomm payments. Therefore, Qualcomm has already taken this into account in its financial statements, and it will not be necessary to give Apple a check.
Apple's contract factories, which would normally pay Qualcomm for royalty payments on iPhone, have almost withheld $ 1 billion in Qualcomm payments. Qualcomm's Rosenberg said these withheld iPhone payments are already included in Qualcomm's existing financial reports.
"Apple has already cleared the payment in question for the royalties Qualcomm owed," Rosenberg told Reuters.
In San Diego's separate case Qualcomm vs.. Apple for patent infringement, the jury today without decision has gone. The deliberations will continue at 9:00 tomorrow morning.
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