Qualcomm Awarded $31 Million After Apple Found Guilty Of Violating 3 Patents

Jury decision means Apple must pay Qualcomm $31 million

The judge said that Qualcomm is obligated to pay Apple almost $1 billion in rebated royalties that it promised to pay Apple as long as the company didn't attack the chip maker in court or to regulators. But it does give Qualcomm some legal backing for its argument that Apple has benefited from its technology, especially with an even bigger court case looming next month.

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. Another helps conserve the amount of battery power consumed by the graphics processor when in use, and the third covers how traffic flows between the app processor and the modem on a handset.

Apple will pay Qualcomm $31.6 million for violating three patents in the development of one of its popular iPhone models.

The $31 million penalty is small change for Apple, the second most valuable USA company after Microsoft Corp, with a market value of $866 billion and annual revenue totaling hundreds of billions of dollars.

"The technologies invented by Qualcomm and others are what made it possible for Apple to enter the market and become so successful so quickly", said Don Rosenberg, Qualcomm executive vice president and general counsel in a statement announcing the legal win. Apple has sought to dismantle what it calls Qualcomm's illegal business model of both licensing patents and selling chips to phone makers.

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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.

Apple and Qualcomm have other court cases to come, including a trial that is scheduled for April. Separately, Qualcomm and Apple had a cooperation agreement under which Qualcomm would pay Apple a rebate on the iPhone patent payments if Apple agreed not to attack in court or with regulators.

The dispute between Apple and Qualcomm is also part of an antitrust lawsuit that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission filed in 2017.

While the damages awarded Friday aren't significant to either company, from Qualcomm's perspective, valuing just three of its more than 10,000 patents at $1.41 per phone shows the overall worth of its inventions.

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