Apple Inc and its allies started opening of arguments at a jury trial in federal court in San Diego on Tuesday, against Qualcomm on allegation of its engaging in illegal patent licensing practices, seeking an amount of up to $27 billion in damages from the chipmaker.
On the other hand, Qualcomm is seeking compensation of up to $15 billion alleging Apple of forcing its longtime business partners to stop paying royalties of some patents.
The current lawsuit in federal court that was filed by Apple in 2017 is about the modem chips, used in connecting devices like Apple Watch or iPhone to wireless data networks. While Qualcomm, in past two years remained escalating its campaign of putting pressure on Apple through relatively smaller legal battles seeking bans on iPhone sales upon allegations of patent infringements, in which Qualcomm partially succeeded winning some cases that resulted in iPhone sales bans.
The trial, which will be played out in Qualcomm’s home ground of San Diego, is concerning for Apple as it will allow iPhone maker determining its own technology strategy for its innovative products, using chips without a requirement of paying patent licensing fees, which Apple calls a tax on its innovations, to Qualcomm that take a portion of the selling price of Apple’s devices for those patents.
And for Qualcomm, the trial is also of due importance as it will decide the fate of its unique business model of selling chips as well as charging licensing fees for more than 130,000 of its patents.
Qualcomm ha a business practice, of no license, no chip, requiring device makers to sign a patent licensing agreement before supplying chips to them, a practice which the company sees as a business norm of doing business only with those companies that are not violating its patents, but Apple and many of other device makers around the world are not in agreement with such practice and have called it double dipping for charging same intellectual property twice.