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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

The two sides may not be talking to one another, but some sort of resolution to the giant Apple-Qualcomm legal dispute may be getting closer as more courts weigh in on the matter. That said, who's winning depends entirely upon who you ask.

Why it matters: Should Apple prevail, the battle could lead to dramatic changes in how Qualcomm licenses its patents and sells its chips, which are widely used in high-end smartphones.

What's new:

  • The Federal Trade Commission's antitrust trial against Qualcomm has been taking place since last week in San Jose, California. The FTC wrapped up its case on Tuesday and Qualcomm began its presentation, calling co-founder Irwin Jacobs to the stand.
  • Qualcomm has won injunctions against Apple in China and Germany, though to limited effect. In China, Apple has continued to sell the iPhones the injunction banned and released a software patch that it believes works around the patent at issue.
  • A separate lawsuit from Qualcomm in Germany was dismissed on Tuesday, and U.S. patent officials said they would review 3 Qualcomm patents that are at issue in dispute here.
  • The U.S. International Trade Commission, in a preliminary ruling, did find Apple infringed on one Qualcomm patent, but declined to ban iPhone imports, saying that to do so was not in the national interest.

Qualcomm's talking points:

  • Qualcomm points to the injunctions it won in China and Germany.
  • As for the FTC case, it notes the government experts didn't offer a take on what a reasonable royalty should be, merely expressing the opinion that Qualcomm's license fees seemed too high.
  • Nor, Qualcomm said, did the government show true harm to consumers or competition.

Apple's perspective:

  • The company says it has prevailed in the cases where it has gotten to fully make its case, maintaining it wasn't able to do so in the Germany and China cases where injunctions were issued.
  • It's not just Apple that is being hurt. "This isn’t Apple vs Qualcomm," Apple chief litigation counsel Noreen Krall told Axios. "This is an entire industry that’s been held hostage."

An outside perspective:

  • Longtime chip analyst Kevin Krewell was in court Tuesday and said he wasn't particularly swayed by the portion of the FTC's case he heard. "Whatever hold Qualcomm had on the market by being the first to market with new technologies has been mitigated by competitors such as Intel, MediaTek, Samsung, and HiSilicon," he said.

What's next: The trial continues in San Jose on Friday and is expected to wrap up with the final witness on Jan. 28 and closing arguments on Feb. 1.

Go deeper

57 mins ago - World

China and Russia vaccinate the world — for now

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

While the U.S. and Europe focus on vaccinating their own populations, China and Russia are sending millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses to countries around the world.

Why it matters: China's double success in controlling its domestic outbreak and producing several viable vaccines has allowed it to focus on providing doses abroad — an effort that could help to save lives across several continents.

Ina Fried, author of Login
1 hour ago - Technology

Report: China will dominate AI unless U.S. invests more

Photo illustration: Axios Visuals. Photo: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The U.S., which once had a dominant head start in artificial intelligence, now has just a few year's lead on China and risks being overtaken unless government steps in, according to a new report to Congress and the White House.

Why it matters: Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who chaired the committee that issued the report, tells Axios that the U.S. risks dire consequences if it fails to both invest in key technologies and fully integrate AI into the military.

Americans agree about more issues than they realize

Data: Populace Inc.; Chart: Michelle McGhee/Axios

Many Americans assume the rest of the country doesn't share their political and policy priorities — but they're often wrong, according to new polling by Populace, first seen by Axios.

Why it matters: The polling reveals that despite growing political polarization, Americans share similar long-term goals and priorities for the country.