09 November 2017
Reporter: Barney Dixon

Apple-Qualcomm lawsuit dismissed

Qualcomm and Apple’s $1 billion battle has ended in a mixed ruling, with a US judge granting Qualcomm’s motion to dismiss, but granted Apple’s motion to dismiss counterclaims of unfair competition.

In January, Apple sued Qualcomm in the US District Court for the Southern District of California for unfairly insisting on charging royalties for “technologies they have nothing to do with”.

The smartphone maker sought a declaration of non-infringement or invalidity, or that the court set a fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory royalty on nine Qualcomm patents.

Apple claimed that the more it innovated with new features, the more money Qualcomm collects for “no reason” and the “more expensive it becomes for Apple to fund these innovations”.

According to Apple, Qualcomm has withheld nearly $1 billion in payments from Apple as retaliation for “responding truthfully to law enforcement agencies investigating them”, alluding to anti-trust investigations that have cost Qualcomm billions of dollars.

But judge Gonzalo Curiel said that the absence of “detailed infringement analysis” as to the nine patents weighed severely against a declaratory judgement.

In the ruling, Curiel explained: “The court will ‘decline to invest judicial time and resources in a declaratory action’ that requests only piecemeal relief that does not resolve the disputes between the party in a worthwhile way.”

Broadcom reportedly made a $130 billion offer to buy out Qualcomm earlier this week.

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