Qualcomm Owes Apple Almost $1 Billion in Rebate Payments According to New Court Ruling

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Mar 14, 2019 at 5:40 PM.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Qualcomm owes Apple close to $1 billion in rebate payments a U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of California said in a preliminary ruling today, siding with Apple in the ongoing Apple vs. Qualcomm legal battle.

    Qualcomm, ruled the judge, is obligated to make the rebate payments to Apple as they were part of a business agreement between the two companies.


    Today's ruling is unrelated to the patent trial that wrapped up this week and instead pertains to Apple's rebate lawsuit against Qualcomm. Two years ago, Apple sued Qualcomm and said that the chip company had been refusing to pay patent royalty rebates mandated by the agreement.

    As explained by Reuters, Apple's suppliers would pay Qualcomm royalties to use Qualcomm's patented technology in iPhones, which Apple would reimburse. Qualcomm and Apple had an agreement that said Qualcomm would pay Apple a rebate on these iPhone patent payments if Apple did not attack it in court or with regulators.

    Qualcomm said that it stopped making the required royalty payments to Apple because Apple broke the agreement by urging smartphone makers to complain to regulators and by making "false" statements to the Korean Fair Trade Commission, which was, at the time, investigating Qualcomm for antitrust allegations. Apple in turn said that it was providing lawful responses to Korean regulators as part of the ongoing investigation.

    Apple was in the right according to the preliminary ruling, and Qualcomm should have continued to make the royalty payments. In a statement to Reuters, Qualcomm commented on the judge's decision.
    Today's ruling was preliminary, and it won't be finalized until the two companies meet in court for the rebate lawsuit, which is set to begin next month. Reuters says that it is unlikely Qualcomm will make a new payment to Apple as Apple's contract factories have already withheld nearly $1 billion in payments to Qualcomm as a way for Apple to recoup its money.

    Apple and Qualcomm have been embroiled in an increasingly bitter legal battle for more than two years now, with the fighting spanning multiple countries and covering everything from royalty payments to patent infringement. Right now, Apple and Qualcomm are awaiting the U.S. trial for the rebate dispute and the results of the recent patent infringement trial.

    Article Link: Qualcomm Owes Apple Almost $1 Billion in Rebate Payments According to New Court Ruling
  2. DrJohnnyN macrumors 65816


    Jan 27, 2010
  3. DocMultimedia macrumors 6502


    Sep 8, 2012
    Charlottesville, VA
  4. ke-iron macrumors 65816

    Aug 14, 2014
    Omg I laughed out loud when I read this. Qualcomm got what was coming to them, those bullies.
  5. KPandian1 macrumors 65816

    Oct 22, 2013
    Preliminary ruling, yes, but if it holds it is a lot of hurt for Qualcomm. This is on top of the other suits/claims in the pipeline.

    It is about 1.5% of Qualcomm's total worth - if this seems meager, see how people avoid 1% sales tax on a $20 bill by shopping elsewhere.

    Hoped that these two would make-up and play nice - that milk is long spilt.
  6. Icaras macrumors 603


    Mar 18, 2008
    California, United States
  7. catportal macrumors regular


    Aug 11, 2016
  8. I7guy macrumors P6


    Nov 30, 2013
    Gotta be in it to win it
    This ongoing spat between Qualcomm and Apple has more twists and turns than a Tom Clancy novel.o_O
  9. realtuner macrumors regular


    Mar 8, 2019
    Is anyone surprised by this?

    I mean, besides all the “legal experts” that swore up and down that Qualcomm was in the right?
  10. vikingjunior macrumors 65816


    Aug 17, 2011
    The only people that really suffer is us with Intel modems.
  11. cmaier macrumors G5

    Jul 25, 2007
    Agreed. I am amazed by all the armchair lawyers that state legal principles that simply don’t exist, simply because they are looking for another reason to bash Apple.
  12. Baymowe335 macrumors 68040

    Oct 6, 2017
    Rounding error for Apple, but teaches you not to bully the bully.

    Again, Qualcomm shouldn’t have started down this path.
  13. cmaier macrumors G5

    Jul 25, 2007
    The real hurt will come if the courts rule that qualcomm’s Licensing model violates patent exhaustion.
  14. JosephAW macrumors 68020


    May 14, 2012
    Just bury the hatchet and get back to business. QC chips are best for now.
  15. 69Mustang macrumors 603


    Jan 7, 2014
    In between a rock and a hard place
    To be fair to all those "legal experts", they were referencing the Qualcomm v Apple lawsuits. This judgement regarding the rebate payment is a separate issue.

    So is anyone surprised by this? I'd say yes we are since, and I'm just guessing here, most of us had no idea the rebate payment was at issue. Judging by your comment, you didn't know either.:p:D
  16. cmaier macrumors G5

    Jul 25, 2007
    Maybe,but if someone owed you billions of dollars you might be willing to accept second best until they paid up.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 14, 2019 at 6:07 PM ---
    This is all tied together. The FRAND patent dispute is based on Qualcomm’s licensing behavior, which is also what was at issue in the government inquiries that Qualcomm was pissed Apple was cooperating with (and hence withheld the rebates). It’s all part of the same situation where Qualcomm is trying to charge license fees for using chips it sells.
  17. bladerunner2000 macrumors 68020


    Jun 12, 2015
    LOL, gonna need to grab some popcorn.
  18. Zenithal macrumors 604

    Sep 10, 2009
    Early or later Clancy?
  19. Kabeyun macrumors 68000


    Mar 27, 2004
    Eastern USA
    Intel modems, at least in current gen iPhones, are about as good as Qcom. iPhone XS & XSmax support Intel 4x4 MIMO and are basically on parity with Qcom modems.
  20. lsutigerfan1976 macrumors 68020

    Sep 14, 2012
    I too am owed billions in rebates by Apple. I asked Tim about it. He told me to go kick rocks....
  21. Suttree macrumors regular


    Jul 21, 2018
    Remember, folks, this has nothing to do with the modem issue. Apple is just throwing shade at Qualcomm instead of fessing up to its crimes and paying every penny it owes to an actual innovative company, which Apple is not.
  22. mdriftmeyer macrumors 68030


    Feb 2, 2004
    Pacific Northwest
    The real reason for Qualcomm's hail mary lawsuit barrage.
  23. Carnegie macrumors 6502a

    May 24, 2012
    To be clear, Judge Curiel didn't actually rule that Qualcomm owes Apple $1 billion or so in outstanding BCPA payments. Today's order didn't rule on any of Apple's claims. Rather, it ruled on some of Qualcomm's claims. The judge granted Apple's motions for partial summary judgment with regard to some of Qualcomm's claims. Among other things, it ruled that Qualcomm wasn't entitled to a declaration that it was released from any obligation to make further BCPA payments.

    That is, of course, good news for Apple and its prospects for winning on its claim that Qualcomm owes it for BCPA payments which weren't made. But in order to win that aspect of this case, Apple will need to either win a motion for summary judgment on its own claim (that it's owed such payments) or have a jury decide that it's owed such payments. (There are other ways it could win, but one of those two is more likely.)
  24. cmaier macrumors G5

    Jul 25, 2007
    Apple hasn’t been accused of any crimes.
    And this is related to the modem issue. What do you think the government was investigating? (That resulted in Qualcomm withholding the rebates because apple cooperated)

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