Apr 16, 2019

Apple, Qualcomm settle long-running legal dispute

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Qualcomm and Apple have agreed to end their bitter legal dispute over patent royalties, with a deal that includes a 6-year agreement on royalty rates and a multiyear deal for Qualcomm to supply chips to Apple.

Why it matters: The conflict pitted two giants of the tech industry against one another, threatening to both disrupt Qualcomm's entire business model and potentially imperil Apple's ability to bring 5G to the iPhone.

The big picture: The settlement comes just as a key trial was starting in San Diego that would have seen the key issues in the case presented to a jury. The two companies also had other patent cases proceeding in various courts around the globe.

  • Qualcomm shares surged in the wake of the news, closing up over 23%.
  • Apple shares were largely unchanged on the day, but did nudge up slightly during the final hour of trading.

What they're saying: The two companies issued a brief joint statement.

"Qualcomm and Apple today announced an agreement to dismiss all litigation between the two companies worldwide. The settlement includes a payment from Apple to Qualcomm. The companies also have reached a six-year license agreement, effective as of April 1, 2019, including a two-year option to extend, and a multiyear chipset supply agreement."

What's next: The deal ends the direct litigation between the companies and Apple's contract manufacturers, an FTC case about Qualcomm's business practices remains ongoing. Both sides are awaiting a ruling from the judge following a January trial.

Our thought bubble: By settling now, Qualcomm ideally preserves its licensing business while Apple increases its ability to have 5G iPhones on the market next year.

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Johnny McEntee called in White House liaisons from cabinet agencies for an introductory meeting Thursday, in which he asked them to identify political appointees across the U.S. government who are believed to be anti-Trump, three sources familiar with the meeting tell Axios.

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Photo: Ina Fried/Axios

Activists and journalists have been telling us for years that we are handing too much of our human autonomy over to machines and algorithms. Now artists have a showcase in the heart of Silicon Valley to highlight concerns around facial recognition, algorithmic bias and automation.

Why it matters: Art and technology have been partners for millennia, as Steve Jobs liked to remind us. But the opening of "Uncanny Valley: Being Human in the Age of AI" tomorrow at the de Young Museum in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park puts art in the role of technology's questioner, challenger — and sometimes prosecutor.

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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The weekend's biggest sporting event is Wilder-Fury II, which despite its name is not an action movie sequel starring Jean-Claude Van Damme but, rather, a boxing match starring arguably the two best heavyweights in the world.

The backdrop: In their first meeting in December 2018, Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury put on a memorable show at Staples Center, with Fury surviving a brutal right hand in the 12th round to earn a split-decision draw.

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