Apple and Qualcomm end their long legal war

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Qualcomm patents
It’s finally over!
Photo: Qualcomm

The legal war between Apple and Qualcomm is finally over.

In a surprise announcement, the two companies revealed that they have agreed to drop all litigation against each other, bringing an end to a dispute over royalities and patent infringements that spanned multiple countries.

Apple and Qualcomm have been fighting in courts for the last few years. Qualcomm contended that Apple owed it money for royalty payments related to its technology while Apple said the company was trying to try an unfair rate for essential technology. Both sides scored victories in various court systems but they’re finally calling a truce.

“The settlement includes a payment from Apple to Qualcomm. The companies also have reached a six-year license agreement, effective as of April 1, 2019, including a two-year option to extend, and a multiyear chipset supply agreement,” said Apple in a press release.

Qualcomm stock rose over 20% on the news of the settlement. Recent reports claimed that Apple and its suppliers were seeking nearly $30 billion in damages from Qualcomm. In the end, Apple had to make a payment to Qualcomm to settle the dispute but it’s unclear how much the amount was.

Enter the 5G iPhone

Settling the dispute with Qualcomm could give Apple access to 5G modem chips in time for the 2019 iPhone lineup launch, though a 2020 debut is more likely. The company has been developing its own modems but those weren’t expected to be ready until 2020 at the earliest, with 2021 being a more realistic date.

As someone who covered the Apple vs Samsung legal battle, I’m beyond stoked for Qualcomm and Apple to finally resolve their differences. This litigation nightmare seemed to span even more countries and courts and had more money at stake. Neither side could really afford to lose, so it’s friggin delightful that they surprised us with a happy ending.