Qualcomm loses the first battle in its war against Apple! And is already 2-0 for Apple!

- Adrian Ungureanu

As you probably know, Qualcomm and Apple have become sworn enemies because of their royalties related issues. Qualcomm was charging both Apple and its suppliers for its patents. Qualcomm was supposed to give back some of the money to Apple as royalty rebate payments.

But the chipmaker decided not to give back Apple any money because the iPhone maker cooperated with the South Korean authorities in an investigation that led to a financial penalty of nearly 1 billion US dollars against Qualcomm.

Apple then decided to stop making any payments towards Qualcomm as royalties for using its patents. They also instructed its manufacturing partners, Foxconn, Wistron, Pegatron and Compal to stop making any payments towards Qualcomm. That infuriated Qualcomm even more and all hell broke loose.

They have filed multiple charges against one another and now the war in courts has began. The first battle was dramatically lost by Qualcomm. The chipmaker asked the court to force Apple’s suppliers to resume payments and then stop Apple from pursing antitrust cases against it in other jurisdictions or countries.

But, Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California, handed down a decision denying Qualcomm’s motion for a preliminary injunction that would force the manufacturers to make royalty payments. In other words, until the case is solved and the amount to be paid will be determined, nobody will make any payments. That’s a harsh blow for Qualcomm who loses valuable sources of income.

Judge Curiel also denied Qualcomm’s motion for an anti-suit injunction intended to stop Apple’s parallel lawsuits in other jurisdictions.

Qualcomm would prefer to have a local San Diego court determine a global royalty rate covering all of its standard-essential patents. Apple would prefer that Qualcomm have the burden of proof in demonstrating infringement, and also face the scrutiny of patent invalidity in each jurisdiction, including China, Japan, Taiwan and the United Kingdom.

So, Apple says “We give you the money, but prove that we infringe your patents!” Nice one Apple.

Apple 2, Qualcomm 0.