German court rejects Qualcomm patent infringement lawsuit against Apple

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Notably, Apple hasn't utilized Qualcomm chips since the iPhone 7 and, as a result, it was widely assumed that Apple was flat-out refusing to work with the chipmaker.

Apple is reluctant to entrust a component of its products to a single supplier, and it usually looks for at least two partners.

Apple's antitrust trial against Qualcomm has shined a light on the companies' long-standing partnership that reached a boiling point in 2017.

"That may not sound like a lot, but we're selling hundreds of millions of phones", and that's "a billion dollars a year", Williams told USA district judge Lucy Koh on Monday as the non-jury trial moved into its second week in San Jose, California. "We were working toward doing that with Qualcomm, but in the end they would not support us or sell us chips".

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An FTC expert witness pointed out that Qualcomm has largely managed to stay out court hearings over enforcing patents while competitors Ericsson, Nokia and InterDigital have frequently been in court and subject to court orders.

Williams added that he believes Qualcomm charging a royalty rate of $7.50 per iPhone for using its patents is overpriced.

There is still no formal ruling but the court's initial verbal decision has sided with Apple and finds no patent infringement in the use of Qualcomm's chips in iPhones. Qualcomm wants Apple to pay a licensing fee based on the value of the final device, while Apple wants to pay based on the value of Qualcomm's provided IP. However, as Apple and Qualcomm are in the midst of a bitter legal battle right now, the Cupertino giant is looking at two other modem suppliers to source for its 5G-enabled iPhones that will reportedly launch in 2020.

Williams even contacted Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf to try and convince him to sell the modems to Apple, but he refused.

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" Apple has a history of infringing our patents, " claimed Don Rosenberg, Qualcomm's corporate Vice President, as well as general counsel. The regulatory agency called Apple chief operating officer Jeff Williams as a witness to help show that Qualcomm has abused its global dominance in the smartphone market.

Blevins said that Apple is considering MediaTek and Samsung as potential supply chain partners for its 5G devices.

"We were staring at an increase of over $1 billion per year in licensing, so we had a gun to our head", Williams said.

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