According to a new report from Reuters a US federal judge issued a preliminary ruling this evening that Qualcomm must pay Apple nearly $ 1 billion in patent card cards. The verdict comes from Judge Gonzalo Curiel of the US District District Court in California.
As Reuters explained that contract factories that build the iPhone generally paid Qualcomm "billions of dollars a year" to use Qualcomm's patented technology in the iPhone. In turn, Apple would replace the factories. In addition, Qualcomm and Apple had a separate agreement that would see Qualcomm pay Apple "a discount on iPhone patent payments if Apple agreed not to attack in court or with regulatory authorities."
Two years ago, Apple sued Qualcomm and claimed that the chip maker had broken its contract by not paying these patent royalty discounts. However, Qualcomm said it stopped paying the discounts, as Apple urged other smartphone manufacturers to "complain to regulators" and make "false and misleading" statements to the Korean Fair Trade Commission.
Tonight, Judge Curiel came down on Apple's side, stating that Qualcomm must pay Apple the missed patent discounts. In a statement, Apple said: "Qualcomm's illegal business practices are damaging Apple and the entire industry."
Meanwhile, Qualcomm VP and Secretary-General Don Rosenberg said the company is pleased to see Apple's role in this deal exposed:
"Although the court today did not see Apple's behavior as a violation of Apple's promises to Qualcomm in the 2013 co-operation and patent agreement, the exposure of Apple's role in these events is a welcome development. "
Despite Curiel's judgment, it is still very undecided. The decision is not final until after the next month's trial. In addition, Apple's contract factories have already held back $ 1 billion in payments to Qualcomm. Qualcomm has thus already reported this in its financial reports and it does not need to cut a check to Apple.
Apple's contract factories, which under normal circumstances would pay Qualcomm for patent fees on the iPhone, have already kept it nearly $ 1 billion in payments to Qualcomm. Qualcomm's Rosenberg said that the inhibited iPhone payments have already been reported in Qualcomm's existing financial statements.
"Apple has already compensated the payment in question under the royalties agreement that was owed to Qualcomm," says Qualcomm's Rosenberg Reuters.
Meanwhile, in the separate Qualcomm against Apple's patent infringement case in San Diego, the jury left without a decision .
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