Apple, Qualcomm settle all lawsuits

Apple, Qualcomm settle all lawsuits
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Apple and leading chipmaker Qualcomm have agreed to drop all litigation between them, ending a web of legal battles the tech giants have fought on multiple continents for two years.

The surprise settlement was announced Tuesday, just as the companies were gearing up for a significant court battle in San Diego.

As part of the settlement, Apple is paying an undisclosed amount to Qualcomm. The settlement also includes a six-year patent licensing agreement, effective at the beginning of April, Apple said in a statement. The agreement can be extended for two years.

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Qualcomm has agreed to supply parts to Apple over multiple years as part of the settlement, meaning it could start supplying chips to Apple again. Apple had bought modem chips from Qualcomm for years, but the relationship soured two years ago as Apple accused Qualcomm of charging exorbitant prices.

In courts around the world, Apple claimed Qualcomm boosted its prices excessively and accused the chipmaker of acting as a monopoly, as it charged fees for patents. Qualcomm accused Apple of stealing its intellectual property without compensation.

The companies on Tuesday had started proceedings in a trial in California, which saw both sides asking for billions of dollars in damages.

Qualcomm in recent months has indicated that it would be willing to work with Apple to roll out an iPhone with next-generation wireless network capabilities known as 5G, which Apple has reportedly struggled to launch.

And a trade judge last month ruled that Apple infringed on two of Qualcomm's patents and recommended that some iPhones should be banned from the U.S. as a result. The judge recommended a block on importing some iPhone models from China, where they are produced, according to a notice from the International Trade Commission.

Qualcomm as part of the settlement will end litigation with Apple’s contract manufacturers.