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Apple-Qualcomm trial kicks off this week

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.