Apple vs. Qualcomm Trial Begins Today

Two years after Apple sued Qualcomm over $1 billion in unpaid royalty rebates and anticompetitive patent licensing practices, the tech heavyweights are set to face off in a San Diego courtroom. The trial begins today with jury selection.

qualcomm iphones
Apple manufacturers Foxconn, Pegatron, Wistron, and Compal, whose complaints have been merged with Apple's, allege that they have collectively overpaid Qualcomm approximately $9 billion in royalties, a figure that could be tripled under antitrust laws to $27 billion, according to The New York Times.

Apple argues that Qualcomm should also repay $3.1 billion associated with patents whose rights are exhausted, the report adds.

Apple in January 2017:

For many years Qualcomm has unfairly insisted on charging royalties for technologies they have nothing to do with. The more Apple innovates with unique features such as Touch ID, advanced displays, and cameras, to name just a few, the more money Qualcomm collects for no reason and the more expensive it becomes for Apple to fund these innovations.

Qualcomm in turn estimates that Foxconn, Pegatron, Wistron, and Compal owe more than $7.5 billion in unpaid royalties. Qualcomm also argues that Apple should be held liable for a doubled penalty of at least $15 billion.

Qualcomm in April 2017:

Apple is the world's most profitable seller of cellular devices. But as a late-comer to the cellular industry, Apple contributed virtually nothing to the development of core cellular technology. Instead, Apple's products rely heavily on the cellular inventions of Qualcomm and others. Apple's iPhones and other products enjoy enormous commercial success, but without lightning-fast cellular connectivity—enabled in large part by Qualcomm's inventions—Apple's iPhones would lose much of their consumer appeal.

Apple already won a preliminary judgment ordering Qualcomm to pay nearly $1 billion in withheld rebates last month. Qualcomm has also faced scrutiny from antitrust regulators in multiple countries, including the United States, where an FTC lawyer said evidence of misconduct is "overwhelming."

"The evidence is overwhelming that Qualcomm engaged in exclusionary conduct, and the effects of Qualcomm's conduct, when considered together, are anticompetitive," said FTC lawyer Jennifer Milici, during closing arguments in the FTC vs. Qualcomm trial in January, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Amidst the legal battle, Apple dropped Qualcomm as a supplier of cellular modems starting with last year's iPhone XS, ‌iPhone‌ XS Max, and ‌iPhone‌ XR, with rival chipmaker Intel fulfilling all orders for those devices.

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Top Rated Comments

Infinite Vortex Avatar
68 months ago
I wish there was a world where they both lost so they each learnt to get along with others.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jamツ Avatar
68 months ago
they should put it on ESPN
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AnthonyG6 Avatar
68 months ago
This is a waste of time for everyone at  and it’s not going to bode well for both company. Qualcomm started to charge a few percentages higher due to iPhone X Notch Screen chopped off a portion display and is by far the most unprofessional looking device ever produced from Apple.
[doublepost=1555338453][/doublepost]Qualcomm should consider charging at a higher rate if Apple unable to make the new 2019 iPhone without a notch.
This is such a ridiculous comment; what has the notch got to do with any of this?
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
realtuner Avatar
68 months ago
My bad. So how many anti trust cases have there been that they lost?
* In April 2017 Qualcomm and Blackberry had a binding arbitration case. Qualcomm lost and now owes $940 million to Blackberry. Since it didn't go to court, details are limited. What we do know is it was related to royalty rebates due to Blackberry over the number of devices sold. Which sounds eerily similar to what Apple is complaining about (with Apple winning a preliminary $1 billion against Qualcomm just recently).

* In June 2018 Qualcomm was fined $1.2 billion by the EU for antitrust issues arising from Qualcomm paying Apple money to ensure exclusivity in using Qualcomm modems. Just a week ago Qualcomm lost another part of their antitrust case by trying to prevent the handing over of data to the EU regarding their antitrust case.
* In October 2017 Qualcomm was fined $774 million by Taiwan's Fair Trade Commission for overcharging royalties for their cellular modems and IP. Qualcomm struck a deal with Taiwan and had their fine "reduced" to $93 million in exchange for investing $700 million over 5 years into Taiwan's tech sector. Several companies are still protesting this decision as Qualcomm wasn't forced to change all their licensing practices.
* In December 2016, South Korea fined Qualcomm $854 million for antitrust issues surrounding modem and IP royalty/licensing. Prior to this Qualcomm was fined $243 million way back in 2009 over kickback issues to cell manufacturers to use Qualcomm modems exclusively. This fine was lowered slightly to $200 million just last month.
* In February 2015 Qualcomm accepted a penalty of $975 million in China over violating anti-monopoly laws over - you guessed it, royalties and licensing related to modems and related IP.
* The FTC in the US just wrapped up a trial (now awaiting a decision) accusing Qualcomm of antitrust practices related to their modems and licensing practices.
* Apple and Qualcomm start their trial today regarding, again, over payment of royalties.


And despite all of this people still have the nerve to think Qualcomm is in the right?
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
H3LL5P4WN Avatar
68 months ago
they should put it on ESPN
I'd watch it. It's more of a sport than poker or golf are.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
H3LL5P4WN Avatar
68 months ago
YOU CAN DO EET APPLE! CUT THEIR HEADS OFF!

Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)