US judge rules Qualcomm owes Apple almost $1 billion rebate payment

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Apple's ongoing legal battle with Qualcomm includes accusations that the chipmaker has been charging for invalid patents and claiming the chipmaker was seeking a disproportionate amount for a single component. That case involves Apple's dispute over Qualcomm's licensing costs.

A third patent related to promoting rich graphics in games while protecting battery life, according to Qualcomm. Apple kicked things off with $1 billion lawsuits in the US and China in 2017. The damages date back to July 6, 2017, when Qualcomm filed its lawsuit, and covers technology used in the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X.

Call it Schrodinger's Fortune: A U.S. District Court judge decided on Thursday that Qualcomm owes Apple almost $1 billion in rebate payments, Reuters reports.

"Next month's case on licensing [between Apple and Qualcomm] will affect billions of dollars in fees that Apple and most phone vendors pay Qualcomm", Greengart said.

"The technologies invented by Qualcomm and others are what made it possible for Apple to enter the market and become so successful so quickly", Don Rosenberg, Qualcomm's general counsel, said in a statement.

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Judge Gonzalo Curiel of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California on Thursday ruled that Qualcomm, the world's biggest supplier of mobile phone chips, was obligated to pay almost $1 billion in rebate payments to Apple, which for years used Qualcomm's modem chips to connect iPhones to wireless data networks.

In other cases against Apple, Qualcomm has won sales bans on iPhones in Germany and China, though the Chinese ban has not been enforced and Apple has taken moves it believes allow it to resume sales in Germany.

For Qualcomm, it shows the San Diego-based company's contribution to the iPhone's success and sets up an even bigger trial against Apple over billions of dollars in patent royalties.

While the agreement worked for several years, Qualcomm chose to stop paying Apple when it found that the company was making "false and misleading" statements to the Korean Fair Trade Commission, which was investigating Qualcomm at the time over antitrust violations. But Qualcomm won't be expected to write a check unless it loses the case when it heads to trial in April.

In the trial that just concluded, the jury unanimously agreed with Qualcomm's contention that it should be paid $1.41 per iPhone relying on three of its patents. "This isn't something that will bring Apple to the table with any sense of urgency", Kroub said.

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