Only about 1% of all high-profile court proceedings are ended by a judge’s hammer, as the other 99% of cases are usually settled over long and intense off-the-record debates between representing lawyers. And, as it normally happens, it all ends with an agreement of a hefty payout by one of the sides.
The thing here is that we can’t really say who will be paying who in this case, as the case between Apple and Qualcomm so far has not indicated who the rightful claimant is.
At the center of the legal battle stands the amount of licensing fees Cupertino should pay the chipmaker for tech it uses in iPhones. Apple has condemned demands for certain fees and subsequently withheld due money to Qualcomm, with the last responding in the same manner. The issue is that Qualcomm charges a fee as a percentage of the total price of a device, which, Apple suggests, unjustly enriches the chipmaker for parts and tech it has not contributed to.
However, Qualcomm has maintained that its claimed royalties do not relate to a single chip in the iPhone, but rather to an array of technologies, without which production of iPhones and other smartphones would have been impossible. It all escalated to the point where Qualcomm sought to ban imports of Apple phones into the US and accused the latter of twisting hands.
Nonetheless, Mollenkopf’s recent statement does sound like the beginning of the end. After one of the sides has submitted a willingness to talk out of court, it’s doubtful that the other would continue to push for a court judgement, as proceedings often mean publicity and more legal fees. What we could see in the weeks and months to follow is a multi-million dollar agreement reached ‘in the quiet’, but we can’t know for sure how events will pan out, so shall keep you updated of how it all unfolds.