According to a report in Reuters citing court proceedings, the jury found Apple owes Qualcomm around $31 million for infringing on three of the mobile chip maker’s patents.
Qualcomm and Apple have been involved in a more than a two-year long lawsuit over patent infringement. Qualcomm sued Apple, contending it violated its patents that help with the battery life of mobile phones. Qualcomm had asked the jury to award it the unpaid royalties, which Reuters reported amounted to as much as $1.41 per iPhone that ran afoul of the patents. While $31 million won’t break Apple given its $866 billion market value, it does provide a new way for Qualcomm to attack the iPhone maker.
Reuters noted the verdict last week could be brought into an April trial since it gives a per dollar sum for Qualcomm’s intellectual property. Apple contends Qualcomm’s practice of charging phone makers a piece of the selling price is illegal and unfair. Apple laid out in another trial with Qualcomm how Apple executives had engaged in intense talks with Qualcomm to reduce licensing fees that were as high as $7.50 per iPhone that used its patents. But Qualcomm thinks the jury’s move last week to give its patents a dollar amount helps its stance that its licensing practices are fair.
“The technologies invented by Qualcomm and others are what made it possible for Apple to enter the market and become so successful so quickly,” Don Rosenberg, Qualcomm’s general counsel, said in a statement to Reuters. “We are gratified that courts all over the world are rejecting Apple’s strategy of refusing to pay for the use of our IP.” In a statement by Apple, the company said the patent infringement claims are designed to distract from larger issues pointing to “investigations into their business practices in U.S. federal court, and around the world.” Apple wouldn’t say if it plans to appeal, noted Reuters.