Jury says Apple owes Qualcomm $31 million for patent infringement

Well, I didn’t see this coming, but a California federal jury on Friday found that Apple owes Qualcomm roughly $31 million for infringing several patents relating to smartphone processor/ This is legal battle that’s been going on for around two years.

The $31 million figure is based on estimates of iPhone sales between July 2017 and last fall, and a fee of $1.40 per infringing device. The jury in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California has found that Apple iPhone 7, 7 Plus, 8, 8 Plus and X infringe two Qualcomm patents, U.S. Patent No. 8,838,949, and U.S. Patent No. 9,535,490, and Apple iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X infringe Qualcomm's U.S. Patent No. 8,633,936. The three infringed patents cover technologies invented by Qualcomm in San Diego.

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In response to the judgement, an Apple spokesperson told AppleInsider, “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.”

The $31 million in damages is just pocket change for Apple, a company that briefly became a $1 trillion company last year. However, as CNET notes, it an important victory for Qualcomm because: it reinforces its reputation as a mobile components innovator, lends credibility to the notion that much of the company's innovation is reflected in iPhones, and ets the stage for a highly anticipated trial between the two companies scheduled for next month in San Diego. The dispute, over Qualcomm's patent royalties with Apple, involves billions of dollars.