BlackBerry wins $814.9M in Qualcomm royalty dispute - Mobile World Live

BlackBerry wins $814.9M in Qualcomm royalty dispute

13 APR 2017

BlackBerry won a refund of $814.9 million from overpaid royalties to Qualcomm, dating from the period when the smartphone pioneer’s unit sales were in sharp decline.

An out-of-court arbitration hearing in the US ruled Qualcomm would pay the refund in addition to legal fees and interest.

The overpaid royalties date from 2010 to 2015. According to a Qualcomm statement, the dispute surrounded whether its per-unit royalty cap applied to certain prepayments made through the handset company’s licensing agreement.

In a written statement, BlackBerry CEO John Chen appeared to want to focus on its future dealings with Qualcomm rather than dwelling on the current case.

“BlackBerry and Qualcomm have a longstanding relationship and continue to be valued technology partners,” he said. “We are pleased the arbitration panel ruled in our favour and look forward to collaborating with Qualcomm in security for ASICs and solutions for the automotive industry.”

A Qualcomm statement added: “While Qualcomm does not agree with the decision, it is binding and not appealable. The arbitration decision was limited to prepayment provisions unique to BlackBerry’s licence agreement with Qualcomm and has no impact on agreements with any other licensee.”

Qualcomm’s licensing and royalty terms have been under increased scrutiny so far this year, with complaints filed by the US Federal Trade Commission and Apple currently going through the US legal system.

Earlier this week, Qualcomm launched its own case against Apple in response, and separately called for the FTC case to be dismissed.

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Chris Donkin

Chris joined the Mobile World Live team in November 2016 having previously worked at a number of UK media outlets including Trinity Mirror, The Press Association and UK telecoms publication Mobile News. After spending 10 years in journalism, he moved...

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