11 September 2017
Reporter: Barney Dixon

Qualcomm’s anti-suit injunction against Apple fails

Qualcomm’s bid to stay all foreign legal actions brought against it by Apple has failed, after a US judge rejected the chipmaker’s motion for an anti-suit injunction.

Apple sued Qualcomm in January for nearly $1 billion, accusing Qualcomm of charging royalties for “technologes they have nothing to do with”.

Qualcomm requested the injunction in July, asking the US District Court for the Southern District of California to order Apple to stay all of its foreign actions against Qualcomm, including its anti-monopoly lawsuit in China.

Judge Gonzalo Curiel rejected the injunction, stating: “Apple’s declarations make evident that it has sought to challenge Qualcomm’s patent licensing practices and anticompetitive conduct territory by territory”.

He added: “While Qualcomm may object to this litigation strategy as duplicative, the court will not conclude that Apple’s exercise of its rights under foreign laws is vexatious.”

Qualcomm’s CEO Steve Mollenkopf has previously said that the case would likely be settled out of court.

He 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.”

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

But, since then, Qualcomm has faced a slew of losses, including the failure to overturn an order from the Korea Fair Trade Commission that forces the chipmaker to engage in good-faith negotiations with chip companies.

Qualcomm’s president and former head of technology licensing has also stepped down amid rising tensions. He is credited with overseeing the company's technology and IP licensing business and was “instrumental to the success and growth of this division”, according to Qualcomm.

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