The main Apple versus Qualcomm court battle, which starts today, looks set to be by far the world’s biggest patent or antitrust case, making previous lawsuits seem trivial in comparison.
Apple and four of its suppliers are jointly seeking a staggering total of up to $30B in damages and other payments from Qualcomm, dwarfing even the largest of previous patent and antitrust cases … We’ve seen several earlier court battles between the two companies, but the case opening today in San Diego is the main event, in which Apple sues Qualcomm for unfair practices in the way it charged the iPhone maker for the use of its patents.
Tim Cook, the Apple chief executive, is expected to give testimony in a four-week trial in a federal court in which the iPhone maker and four companies in its supply chain are suing Qualcomm for up to $27bn in damages for overcharged chip royalties.
Qualcomm, which has denied wrongdoing, is seeking at least $7bn in back-payments from Apple and its suppliers in addition to billions in damages […] Apple is also seeking $1bn in rebates it says Qualcomm withheld after a series of competition regulators opened investigations into its business model, and about $2bn in restitution for royalties […] “This is a huge dispute.
If the case tips in Apple’s favour, other Qualcomm licensees are likely to question the rates they are paying, and the “future of the business model” could come under pressure, said Geoff Blaber, analyst at CCS Insight.