Earlier today, we told you that a U.S. court ruled that Qualcomm must license its standard-essential patents related to smartphone modem chips to its competitors, like Intel. Previously, the company was offering these licenses only to smartphone manufacturers. These patents are essential to the production of a device so that the product can meet a technical standard. They are licensed using fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms, known as FRAND licensing.
Besides the lawsuit filed against it by the FTC early last year, which accused the chip designer of entering into an illegal anti-competitive deal with Apple for modem chips, Qualcomm has been sued by Apple several times. Just recently, Qualcomm accused Apple of owing it $7 billion in royalty payments that was due when the iPhone employed Qualcomm’s modem chips. Among several issues between the two companies, Apple claims that Qualcomm’s demand for a percentage of a phone’s selling price to license a patent is not legal. With the new bred animosity between Apple and Qualcomm, all of the 2018 iPhones use a modem chip from Intel.
There has been some speculation that Apple and Qualcomm will kiss and make up before the end of this year, both agreeing to settle their legal differences out of court. However, as reported today by Reuters, Apple and Qualcomm have no plans to start settlement talks. According to a source inside Apple, the company is planning to take on Qualcomm in court.
“There is absolutely no meaningful discussion taking place between us and Qualcomm, and there is no settlement in sight. We are gearing up for trial.”-Anonymous Apple employee
The case will head to trial early next year. Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf says, “We continue to talk. We also have a number of … legal strategies that are in flight. And we hope that through the combination of either those paths, we could get to a resolution, and we’re confident that we will.”