German court throws out Qualcomm's latest patent case against Apple


On January 9th Patently Apple posted a report on the FTC-Qualcomm trial noted that "Some of the largest phone makers in the world have had Qualcomm's licensing gun put to their head".

But a regional court in the city of Mannheim dismissed the Qualcomm suit as groundless in an initial verbal decision, saying the patent in question was not violated by the installation of its chips in Apple's smartphones.

Qualcomm continues to provide chips for Apple's older devices, but the ongoing dispute has left Apple without a clear path to a 5G-capable iPhone unless it strikes a deal with another chipmaker.

Talking about the current year, Tony Blevins, Apple supply chain executive, has affirmed that the company will now consider MediaTek and Samsung along with Intel to manufacture and supply 5G modem chips to Apple.

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In a testimony last Friday, we have heard new details about the Qualcomm - Apple relationship, the $1 billion incentive Apple received, and what Qualcomm demanded in return.

"The strategy was to dual source in 2018 as well". It is reported that Qualcomm will appeal the decision.

He added that Apple had looked at using Intel chips for the iPad Mini 2 in 2013 but abandoned the idea because it would be required to forfeit those rebates. And earlier this month Apple was forced to withdraw the iPhone 7 and 8 from its retail stores in Germany, after Qualcomm posted €1.34BN in security bonds to enforce the December court decision - which related to a power management patent.

However, Williams' comments appear to contradict testimony from Qualcomm's CEO Steven Mollenkopf.

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Also, Apple won't be able to launch 5G iPhones this year because Intel's 5G chips won't be ready until 2020.

The apple company is undoubtedly very closely monitoring the FTC case, considering that it is dealing with its own pending legal action that is generating comparable assertions in opposition to Qualcomm. Qualcomm charges a percentage of the selling price of each handset sold regardless of whether the device uses its chips. "We have been unable to get them to support us on new design wins past that time [when Apple filed a lawsuit against Qualcomm]", Williams said.

Qualcomm will naturally appeal the decision but it might already be too busy defending itself in a different major case. No offense to (Intel) but we don't want to be a single supplier with them. The regulatory agency called Apple chief operating officer Jeff Williams as a witness to help show that Qualcomm has abused its global dominance in the smartphone market. When Mollenkopf refused to play ball, Williams had to contact Intel which "had to scramble" to meet Apple's supply needs.

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