Apr 15, 2019

Apple-Qualcomm trial kicks off this week

Ina Fried, author of Login

The legal battle between Apple and Qualcomm will reach a critical point this week as a major trial begins in San Diego.

The big picture: The case gets to the heart of the dispute, asking a jury to decide whether, as Qualcomm maintains, Apple owes it billions in unpaid royalties or if, as Apple argues, Qualcomm's royalty structure is unfair to the point of being illegal.

Details:

  • Jury selection begins Monday, with opening arguments late Monday or Tuesday.
  • The judge plans to hold trial only 3 days a week, with the case expected to take 4 weeks or so, stretching into mid-May.
  • Witnesses could include Apple CEO Tim Cook and top execs Phil Schiller and Jeff Williams, along with Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf and president Cristiano Amon.

The bottom line: A verdict won't end the legal battle, as either side can appeal and other cases remain, but it could well determine who has the upper hand as the dispute enters its endgame.

Go deeper: The Wall Street Journal had an in-depth look at the dispute, in particular the animosity both CEOs have for one another.

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Virginia governor announces removal of Richmond's Robert E. Lee statue

Photo: Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced on Thursday that the state will remove the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from Richmond's historic Monument Avenue.

Why it matters: It's a watershed moment for Virginia, which has been at the center of a years-long national debate about whether Confederate monuments should be displayed publicly. That discussion reached a boiling point when protests about a statue of Lee in Charlottesville turned violent in 2017.

RNC expands convention search across the Sun Belt

Donald Trump, Mike Pence and their families on the last night of the Republican National Convention in Ohio in 2016. Photo: David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images.

The Republican National Committee is planning site visits over the next 10 days to more than a half-dozen cities — across the South and into Texas and Arizona — as it scrambles for a new convention host, people familiar with the internal discussions tell Axios.

Driving the news: The RNC's executive committee voted Wednesday night to allow most of the convention to move — with only a smaller, official portion remaining in Charlotte — after North Carolina's governor said the coronavirus pandemic would mean a scaled-back event with social distancing and face coverings.

Oil faces tough road back from coronavirus

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Oil companies in the battered shale patch are starting to bring back some production as prices climb, but a new report underscores how the pandemic is taking a heavy financial toll despite signs of revival.

Driving the news: Fourteen North American producers have filed for bankruptcy thus far during the second quarter, per a tally from the law firm Haynes and Boone, which closely tracks the sector's finances.