Apple and Qualcomm Settle Disputes Worldwide
After a bitter financial dispute that began back in 2017, Apple and Qualcomm have finally settled their differences, and have agreed to drop all litigation with the other worldwide. Exact details have yet to be disclosed, but Apple and Qualcomm have revealed some key pieces of the deal:
- Apple will be making a payment to Qualcomm for an undisclosed amount
- A six-year global patent licensing agreement has been established that may be extended for another two years
- Qualcomm will continue to supply parts to Apple for multiple years meaning the modems are likely to appear in the iPhone once again
This years-long battle began because Apple felt Qualcomm was charging unreasonably high fees for essential patents. When Apple resorted to using Intel chips, Qualcomm fought to get iPhone imports banned in several countries for patent infringement. The modem supplier was able to win iPhone bans in Germany and China, while the U.S. faced a high price on a select number of patents.
“The issue that we have with Qualcomm is that they have a policy of no license, no chips. This is, in our view, illegal,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in January.
And Apple wasn't the only one ticked off about Qualcomm’s business practices.
The modem supplier also found itself in hot water with the several other regulators around the globe over licensing practices and monopolistic behavior. One of the biggest threats they faced was against U.S. Federal Trade Commission. The results of that lawsuit (which was filed just days before Apple’s) have yet to be released.
“The energy of the companies right now is let’s figure out how to ramp up as quickly as possible,” Qualcomm CEO, Steven Mollenkopf said Wednesday. “That’s where the focus is, that’s what we are excited about.”