San Diego-based Qualcomm hailed the verdict as a validation of its technology's importance to iPhones.
Worse, a former Apple engineer who was going to testify that it was he who invented a key idea for one of Qualcomm's patented technologies reversed course during the trial and refused to take the stand after it became clear that there was no evidence to support the claim.
"Qualcomm's ongoing campaign of patent infringement claims is nothing more than an attempt to distract from the larger issues they face with investigations into their business practices in US federal court, and around the world", Josh Rosenstock, a spokesman for Apple, said in a statement. Another helps conserve the amount of battery power consumed by the graphics processor when in use, and the third covers how traffic flows between the app processor and the modem on a handset. The case involved a lawsuit Qualcomm filed against Apple in July 2017 alleging the company had infringed upon some of its smartphone tech patents. That case involves Apple's dispute over Qualcomm's licensing costs. The mobile components company sought to block the import and sale of certain iPhone models in the U.S., Germany, and China. Apple has sought to dismantle what it calls Qualcomm's illegal business model of both licensing patents and selling chips to phone makers.
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Don Rosenberg, executive vice president and general counsel of Qualcomm, told Reuters in a statement, "Although the Court today did not view Apple's conduct as a breach of Apple's promises to Qualcomm in the 2013 Business Cooperation and Patent Agreement, the exposure of Apple's role in these events is a welcome development". It declined to comment on whether it would appeal. But Qualcomm won't be expected to write a check unless it loses the case when it heads to trial in April.
Qualcomm in turn alleged that it stopped paying the rebate payments because Apple had broken the agreement by urging other smartphone makers to complain to regulators and making "false and misleading" statements to the Korean Fair Trade Commission, which was investigating Qualcomm over antitrust allegations.
"The three patents found to be infringed in this case represent just a small fraction of Qualcomm's valuable portfolio of tens of thousands of patents", Rosenberg said in a statement. "This isn't something that will bring Apple to the table with any sense of urgency", Kroub said.