01 August 2017
California
Reporter: Barney Dixon

Settlement a possibility in Apple v Qualcomm


Apple’s $1 billion lawsuit will likely be settled out of court, according to Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf.

Speaking to CNBC’s David Faber on its Squawk on the Street news programme, Mollenkopf said: “Typically companies come to agreements out of court. Sometimes on the courtroom steps. Sometimes not on the courtroom steps. And we’ve had experience over the course of the history—both ways.”

He added: “It could be a situation where a solution just appears.”

Qualcomm has faced a slew of fines and lawsuits over the last few years relating to its standard-essential patents and commitment to license them on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms.

The semiconductor has paid fines of almost billion dollars in China and South Korea.

Apple sued Qualcomm for $1 billion in January of this year, accusing the semiconductor company of unfairly charging royalties for technologies that Qualcomm has nothing to do with.

Apple’s suit followed on the heels of a complaint from the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which accused Qualcomm of abusive licensing practices.

According to Apple, Qualcomm has withheld nearly $1 billion in payments from Apple as retaliation for “responding truthfully to law enforcement agencies investigating them”.

Qualcomm denies Apple’s and the FTC’s complaints, and has filed countersuits against Apple in US district court and before the International Trade Commission.

Valuable for the shareholders

Speaking to CNBC, Mollenkopf said that Qualcomm’s unique business model is what has drawn the ire of so many foes.

He said: “[Qualcomm’s] unique so it’s easy to attack. It just takes a while to go legally and defend yourself. But it’s worth doing. It’s very valuable to our shareholders.”

In January, a Qualcomm shareholder filed a class action suit against the company and demanded compensation for a fall in share prices that he blamed on the way management handled the anti-trust controversies.

Rasesh Shah said that Qualcomm lied to shareholders when it told them that, “unlike some other companies in the industry that hold back certain key technologies”, Qualcomm offers its “entire patent portfolio for use in cellular subscriber devices and cell site infrastructure equipment”.

In his complaint, Shah said these statements were “materially false and/or misleading because they represented and failed to disclose adverse facts pertaining to Qualcomm’s business, operational and financial results, which were known to [Qualcomm] or recklessly disregarded by them”.

He said that Qualcomm had failed to disclose that it was “engaging and/or had engaged in anti-competitive conduct to maintain a monopoly for semiconductors used in mobile phones in violation of the Federal Trade Commission Act”.

According to law firm Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann (BLB&G), the court issued an order appointing Sjunde AP-Fonden and Metzler Asset Management as lead plaintiffs in the case, with BLB&G and Motley Rice representing them, respectively.

BLB&G said Qualcomm’s “clear-cut anti-competitive practices dealt a swift and severe blow to the value of the company’s shares, causing Qualcomm’s stock price to plummet 33 percent during the class period and erasing over $32 billion in shareholder value”.

More news
The latest news from IPPro Patents
Join Our Newsletter

Sign up today and never
miss the latest news or an issue again

Subscribe now
USPTO unveils new filing system
15 December 2017 | Washington DC | Reporter: Barney Dixon
The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has unveiled a new filing system that will launch in 2018 and be fully implemented by 2019
Innovation has thrived under AIA, according to tech association
14 December 2017 | Washington DC | Reporter: Barney Dixon
The High Tech Investors Alliance has responded to contentions that recent legislation and US Supreme Court decisions, including the Alice Corp v CLS Bank case, have weakened the US patent system
Patent perception must shift, says Schecter
13 December 2017 | London | Reporter: Barney Dixon
Public perception must shift if the US is to find feasible solutions to patent abuse, according to chief patent counsel at IBM Manny Schecter
Patent owners winning in IPR
12 December 2017 | New York | Reporter: Barney Dixon
Patent owners are winning more than losing in IPR proceedings, according to a study from law firm Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper & Scinto
High tech companies weigh in on Allergan deal
11 December 2017 | Washington DC | Reporter: Barney Dixon
Tech companies have argued that Allergan should not be allowed to circumvent the inter partes review process with its controversial patent deal with the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe
BlackBerry to pay $137 million to Nokia
08 December 2017 | Waterloo | Reporter: Barney Dixon
BlackBerry will pay $137 million to Nokia after the International Chamber of Commerce’s International Court of Arbitration ruled against the company in a patent licensing dispute
ILO ruling “vote of no confidence” for Battistelli, says CSC
07 December 2017 | Munich | Reporter: Barney Dixon
In an open letter to the EPO’s heads of delegations, the CSC said that it interpreted the ILO’s decision as a “massive vote of no confidence in the president of the EPO"