The legal war between Apple and Qualcomm has been heating up for the past few months, with the chip maker managing to get some iPhone models banned in Germany, for example. Now, it looks like Qualcomm has won yet another battle against the Cupertino company, as a San Diego jury has ruled in its favor in one of the many ongoing court cases.
As reported by CNET, this specific tussle referred to a few technologies, patented by Qualcomm, which Apple used in its iPhones without permission. The patents revolve around seemingly minor features of smartphones, such as one that allows the phone to rapidly connect to the internet once it's turned on, or another one that relates to battery life.
Qualcomm's victory means that Apple has to pay $31 million to the San Diego company, which, by itself, probably won't make a huge difference to either side. This could, however, lend Qualcomm some credibility as it heads into a much bigger battle with Apple next month.
As you may know, the biggest divergence point between the two companies has been the use of Qualcomm's modems in the iPhone, and that case isn't quite going in its favor. While Qualcomm won one legal battle, a preliminary ruling for this other case claims that the chip maker owes Apple $1 billion in rebate payments which it failed to deliver, as reported by Reuters.
This was part of an agreement between the two companies, in which Qualcomm would pay Apple back part of the cost of its patented technologies, as long as the iPhone maker didn't attack the company in court or through regulators. Qualcomm claims that the rebate payments were stopped because Apple made false and misleading claims to the Korean Fair Trade Commission, but Apple argues that it was acting according to the law and simply responding to questions made by regulators as part of an investigation.
Even if Qualcomm loses this battle, it won't truly be giving Apple any more money, as the iPhone maker has already kept the same amount in payments it also owed to the semiconductor company. If, however, the case takes a turn before the final ruling, Qualcomm will have yet another victory to celebrate, and that would be a much more impactful loss for Apple.