While the main court battle between Apple and Qualcomm is set for April, several cases leading up to it are still in process. Yesterday, Apple won two significant points in the protracted legal battle with the chip manufacture. A federal judge ruled that Apple is no liable for damages prior to the suit being filed. Qualcomm had been asking that the damages prior to the suite being filed in 2017 also be a part of their case. The judge ruled that out yesterday, saying Apple, should they be found in breach of contract and lose the suit, would only be responsible for damages after the suit had been filed.
That same judge also ruled that several of the patents at the heart of the Qualcomm case are not being infringed upon by Apple and were rejected. This could have much larger implications on the April 15th trial as it could rule some of the claims from Qualcomm ineligible for that case.
The battle between Apple and Qualcomm has been raging globally for months with the San Diego based chip manufacture claiming Apple infringed on their patents and shared intellectual property with competitors, namely Intel. Apple has countersued saying that Qualcomm “double dipped” on royalties the Cupertino tech giant was paying and have stopped making royalty payments all together until the case is settled.
While it is impossible to know what the end result will be when the April 15th trial ends, the implications are much larger for Qualcomm than Apple. Should the chip manufacture lose, it could have significant financial impact on them while Apple is far better positioned to handle a financial loss.
The win for Apple was the second in as many weeks. In Germany, a court threw out some of the lower court rulings on the case there although Apple still faces a sales ban of older iPhone models in the country.