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Qualcomm beats Apple in multi-million-dollar patent infringement case

Date: 22-03-2019 by: Banca IP Law Firm

Qualcomm beats Apple in multi-million-dollar patent infringement case

Qualcomm has successfully pressed its latest legal complaint against Apple in a San Diego court. Its jury has ruled that the Cupertino company did in fact use 3 patents that did not belong to it in the making of its 2016-2018 iPhones. Qualcomm can now collect the US$31 million that, as it asserts, Apple needs to pay for this infringement.

Qualcomm is the victor in a case it has brought against Apple. It was deliberated in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California in San Diego before a jury. Qualcomm's argument was that the Cupertino giant had infringed on 3 of its patents in the making of the iPhones 7 to X. It resulted in a decision that this did in fact transpire, and that the defendant was liable for the financial penalties specified by the plaintiff.

The pieces of intellectual property in question are registered as U.S. Patents No. 8,838,949, No. 9,535,490, and No. 8,633,936. According to Qualcomm, the latter has been infringed on in the production of the Apple iPhones 8, 8 Plus and X. The other two have been used without permision in these phones, and also in the iPhones 7 and 7 Plus.

The three patents appear to be vital to smartphone function as we know it: Qualcomm claims that No. 8,838,949 allows a phone to boot independent of a dedicated flash module; No. 9,535,490 is responsible for rapid data-connection establishment after boot, and No. 8,633,936 is associated with graphics quality and performance. The decision secured in the San Diego court enables the company to charge Apple a total of US$31 million for their use.

This sum (which works out to $1.41 per unit of the devices involved) may not seem like much, especially considering Apple's vast size and cash reserves. Nevertheless, Qualcomm is touting the ruling as a significant win against the company in its continuing overall legal battle against it.

Don Rosenberg, the chipmaker's executive vice president and general counsel, has been quoted as saying: “[This] unanimous jury verdict is the latest victory in our worldwide patent litigation directed at holding Apple accountable for using our valuable technologies without paying for them”. The result also boosted Qualcomm's stock price by 2.17% by the end of trading on Friday, March 15 2019.