For years, Apple and Qualcomm have been locked in a very contentious battle over patents, with Qualcomm accusing Apple of stealing intellectual property and Apple responding by refusing to use Qualcomm chipsets in its designs. Today, the two companies agreed to dismiss all litigation and have reached a six-year license agreement (with a two-year option to extend) as well as a multi-year chipset supply agreement.
Simply put, this is huge. It was beginning to look like Apple wouldn’t have a top-tier supplier for 5G chipsets, and the company (although rumored to be working on its own modem chipsets) was recently rebuffed by Samsung in an attempt to gain a 5G chip supply.
Just yesterday, the two companies met in court for what was expected to be a protracted and bitter battle. Apple and its allies in the lawsuit were asking for $27 billion in damages, alleging illegal patent licensing practices. Apparently, cooler heads prevailed as the jury trial began, and the companies have agreed to a widespread deal that should benefit both.
This is good news for both companies. Qualcomm can now be assured of a long-term agreement to sell and license chipsets and technology to Apple, while Apple now has access to chipsets that will move the next-generation devices ahead of the competition. Best of all, it keeps the companies out of court for the foreseeable future and drastically reduces the legal costs each company has been incurring during their battle.
Details of the agreement are rather sketchy at this point, but we’ll bring you news of the détente between Qualcomm and Apple as more information becomes available.