The Apple-Qualcomm Legal Battle will be Ratcheted Up in H2 as Qualcomm Prays for an Injunction on the iPhone
It's being reported today that after more than a year of vicious accusations and a flurry of lawsuits and counter claims, Apple Inc. and Qualcomm Inc.'s multi-billion-dollar legal dispute is about to get serious. Hearings in the three most important markets -- the U.S., China and Germany -- will soon determine whether Apple's attempt to save itself billions in technology licensing payments by forcing one of the world's biggest chipmakers to change the way it does business is legal.
Apple may be the hook for $2.5 billion to $4.5 billion in unpaid fees, based on estimates for the amount per phone the company may be charged, a total that could be equivalent to about one-fifth of Qualcomm's annual revenue. The iPhone maker has argued that Qualcomm uses its ownership of patents that cover the basics of how modern smartphones communicate to extract unfairly high payments and coerce it into buying chips. The chipmaker has countered that Apple is stealing its property by refusing to hand over fees for technology that the rest of the industry values and pays for.
The companies' legal teams have been busy and are likely to stay that way. There are more than 50 separate intellectual property and antitrust proceedings filed across 16 jurisdictions in six countries, according to Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Matt Larson.
While no single case will resolve everything, a number of decisions in the second half of 2018 may create an incentive to settle, Larson wrote in a recent research note
Next week the International Trade Commission in Washington will begin a hearing on Qualcomm's argument that Apple is infringing three patents. Qualcomm is asking the agency to ban imports of all iPhone 7 models that don't have Qualcomm's chips. The iPhone, which provides Apple with more than 60 percent of its sales, is manufactured in Asia.
And in China, the biggest market for smartphones, the Chinese Patent Review Board begins hearings this month and next to consider Apple's request to invalidate patents that Qualcomm is trying to use against it. Decisions in those cases could come in the third quarter, according to Larson.
For Apple to shift its position "some government entity or court would have to be willing to put an injunction on the iPhone," said Matt Ramsay, an analyst at Cowen Inc. Absent that, "I get the sense that this Apple thing could go on for quite a while."
Apple – Qualcomm Battle History
The battle between Apple and Qualcomm has been raging on since 2017. Below is a list of reports that Patently Apple posted in 2017 covering this ongoing war.
Jan 17, 2017: The U.S. Fair Trade Commission Sues Qualcomm for Forcing Apple to use its Chips in iDevices
Jan 20, 2017 - Apple Sues Qualcomm for $1 Billion Claiming Unfair Exclusionary Tactics and Charging Excessive Royalties
Jan 22, 2017: Apple's Full lawsuit against Qualcomm Comes to Light Revealing Secret Licensing Agreements and more
Jan 25, 2017: Apple takes their War against Qualcomm to Beijing China
Jan 25, 2017: While Qualcomm is Guilty of Gouging Asian Smartphone OEMs, the Chip Maker Believes that Apple is the Problem
March 02, 2017: Apple has launched a new Lawsuit against Qualcomm in the U.K.
April 11, 2017: Qualcomm Fires Back at Apple with Counterclaims Lawsuit Claiming Breach of Contract and more
April 28, 2017: Qualcomm Lowers Q3 Fiscal 2017 Guidance due to Apple Holding back Royalty Payments
May 03, 2017: Qualcomm Plans Retaliation against Apple and ask the International Trade Commission to Stop iPhone Sales
May 12, 2017 - The FTC Responds to Qualcomm's Motion to dismiss their case about Monopoly Power, Samsung & Intel File Amicus Briefs
May 17, 2017: New Court Filing Details Qualcomm Suing Apple's iPhone Suppliers for withholding Royalty Payments
July 06, 2017: Qualcomm Files another Patent Infringement Complaint against Apple with International Trade Commission
June 20, 2017: Apple has asked the Court to Stop Qualcomm's Double Dipping 'No License, No Chips' Market Tactic
July 19, 2017: Apple joins in new Lawsuit against Qualcomm filed by Suppliers Hon Hai, Pegatron, Wistron and Compal
July 21, 2017: Intel Files Statement with ITC claiming Qualcomm is trying to Force them out of the Modem Business with Apple
Aug 09, 2017: U.S. International Trade Commission to Investigate Apple's Alleged Unfair Trade Practice within 45 Days
Aug 14, 2017: U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has Requested Qualcomm provide more info on Dispute with Apple
Sept 08, 2017: U.S. Federal Judge Rules that Apple's Multiple Foreign Lawsuits against Qualcomm can Proceed
Oct 11, 2017: Taiwan's FTC Hits Qualcomm with a Record $773 Million Fine for Abusing their Monopoly Power
Oct 13, 2017: Qualcomm, as Expected, Seeks to Stop iPhone Sales in China with new Patent Infringement Case Filed
Nov 02, 2017: Qualcomm Sues Apple for Providing Intel with Qualcomm source code to Assist Intel's Future modems for iDevices
Nov 29, 2017: Apple Sues Qualcomm over Two Snapdragon Processors that Infringe on their Intellectual Property
Nov 30, 2017: Qualcomm Wastes no Time in Retaliating against Apple with another Patent Infringement Lawsuit filed in California
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