In a provision provided by a California federal court on Thursday, Qualcomm found was no reason for clawback of funds dispensed to Apple under a grant payment agreement, nor the relief of payments kept, which means chipmaker is out billions of dollars.
Summary Decision by Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel of U.S. Pat. The District Court of the Southern District of California, filed today, finds Qualcomm's counterclaim to a clawback based on a Business Cooperation and Patent Agreement (BCPA) with no profit.
As mentioned by FOSS Patents Florian Mueller, Qualcomm, sought a refund of billions of dollars handed over to Apple as part of quarterly BCPA payments paid over a three-year period. Under the agreement, Apple did not promise to "initiate or evoke certain types of litigation or investigation."
Summarized by Mueller, Qualcomm's arguments alleged that Apple broke its BCPA engagement by talking to "lie" to – Korean antitrust regulators who allegedly induce Samsung intend to influence the Korea Fair Trade Commission in expanding its investigation of Qualcomm's business practices, which allegedly attempting to extend the scope of a European Commission probe and allegedly induce the US Federal Trade Commission to even out an antitrust process against the chipmaker. Furthermore, Qualcomm claimed that the BCPA Safe Harbor clause does not cover Apple's decision to respond to regulatory regulators' questions.
Qualcomm in its counter-claim claimed that the BCPA prohibitions do not violate public policy for cooperation with government authorities. Judge Curiel took the problem with the attitude.
"Under these circumstances, enforcement of the BCPA to punish Apple for responding to regulatory investigations will deter parties from responding to regulatory investigations and hiding ongoing illegal behavior to the detriment of the public and continuing improper conduct," Curiel writes.
Judge Curiel disagreed with Qualcomm on each of the antitrust-related enforcement assumptions, which effectively merged with Apple in its partial summary assessment movement. As such, Qualcomm is not entitled to a refund of payments and not released from making additional payments under the BCPA, as funds allegedly withheld from Apple's participation in an FTC probe. Qualcomm stopped paying discounts to Apple in September 2016.
The summary judgment is one of many moving parts in Apple's case against Qualcomm. The Cupertino, California, technological giant basically sued a breach of contract on Qualcomm's portion amounting to nearly $ 1 billion in patent bonuses. Thursday's ruling applies to a Qualcomm counterclaim that sought to repay funds paid to Apple between 2013 and 2016, the effective dates of the BCPA, as well as the rebate on rebates withheld in 2016.
Judge Curiel's ruling does not apply until A trial completed for April is complete. Qualcomm will probably appeal the decision.
Apple is fighting Qualcomm on several fronts as part of a comprehensive legal battle that spans the world. Last, jurors in San Diego heard final arguments in a patent infringement case qualified by Qualcomm. The jury is still discussing, but a decision is expected to be made this week.