Apple and Qualcomm drop all litigation worldwide, ink new chipset deal

Qualcomm and Apple Settle Long-Running Patent Royalty Dispute

A woman who has never owned a smartphone is among the nine jurors selected Monday to decide a multibillion-dollar dispute between Apple Inc. and Qualcomm Inc. over the technology used in iPhones.

Shares of Qualcomm jumped 23 percent to $70.45 in regular trading, their biggest gain in more than 19 years, then hit $75.25 in after-hours trading.

Hours after Qualcomm and Apple announced a six-year licensing agreement as part of a royalty settlement, Intel made a decision to exit the future 5G smartphone market.

"All litigation between the two companies worldwide" has been dropped, the firms said in a joint statement. Intel still believes that it can complete an assessment of the opportunities for 4G and 5G modems in PCs, internet of things devices and other data-centric devices.

Chipmaker Intel has announced today that it will be cancelling production of it's 5G modems.

Apple had argued that Qualcomm's royalty demands meant it was effectively insisting on payment for innovations by Apple - such as touch ID or Apple Pay - that Qualcomm "had nothing to do with". The Federal Trade Commission has accused the company of using its royalty system to stifle competition in the mobile chip market in another case in which Apple played a central role.

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As part of the surprise settlement, Apple has entered into a six-year supply agreement with Qualcomm with an option for another two.

Over the last two years, Apple and Qualcomm, a company that makes communications chips and holds a number of critical patents, have been locked in a legal battle. Although the litigation was slightly different in each iteration, nearly all of them came down to a pretty simple quarrel: Qualcomm has patents it thinks Apple's infringing, and Apple thinks Qualcomm is essentially a patent troll.

Qualcomm has always been a dominant player in the wireless chip business for smartphones. On March 27, ITC Judge MaryJoan McNamara chose to recommend a ban on the import of certain iPhone models because she believed Apple had violated a Qualcomm patent.

The news would appear to suggest that Intel plans to eventually exit the smartphone modem business entirely. The antitrust case was originally filed by Apple in early 2017.

It also signals that Apple was pretty much Intel's only buyer of its planned 5G phone chipset, and with today's deal with Qualcomm in the bag, there isn't much point in Intel continuing.

Putting an end to one of the most intense high tech legal battles in recent memory, this afternoon Apple and Qualcomm announced that the two firms were burying the hatchet.

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