Qualcomm Denied Two Preliminary Injunctions Against Apple

September 22, 2017 - Written By Dominik Bosnjak

Qualcomm was denied two preliminary injunctions against Apple earlier this month, with District Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel first ruling that the San Diego, California-based tech giant cannot prevent the iPhone maker from pursuing litigation against the company in foreign countries, and later also dismissing the firm’s motion to compel iPhone manufacturers into paying certain royalties for using its patents before the actual sum that Qualcomm is owed is determined. The latest turn of events is a setback to Qualcomm’s plans to defeat Apple in the court of law and make the company continue paying for its patents, as well as settle the matter of royalty rebate payments that are supposed to move the other way around.

Judge Curiel previously explained that while Qualcomm can argue Apple’s decision to simultaneously pursue similar litigation in numerous countries is duplicative and redundant in nature, he recused the U.S. court from being the one to rule on that particular matter, noting that it’s within Apple’s rights to take full advantage of all legal options given to it by foreign jurisdictions and suggesting that Qualcomm should file an anti-suit injunction in those very same jurisdictions if it’s to pursue this line of appeal any further. The semiconductor company has been pushing for the United States District Court for the Southern District of California to set a global royalty rate for its standard-essential patents, whereas Apple is seeking individual rates for specific countries, i.e. markets. The Cupertino, California-based original equipment manufacturer is also insisting that Qualcomm should be the one who’d have to prove patent infringement instead of simply claiming one and having Apple defend its position, a notion that the SoC maker unsurprisingly opposes.

Qualcomm’s patent licensing fees have previously been described by Apple as being monopolistic in nature, with the iPhone manufacturer accusing the firm of abusing its dominant position in the global market to force device companies into paying per-product fees which consequently allow Qualcomm to profit from inventions it isn’t credited with. The chipmaker is claiming that its patent licensing practices are non-discriminatory, noting how its creations are what allowed the smartphone technology revolution in the first place. Until the legal battles between the two are resolved, Qualcomm is unlikely to be paid any royalty fees from iPhone sales.