BlackBerry awarded $940 million by Qualcomm to finally settle royalty payment dispute

29 May

By Anmol Sachdeva, The Tech Portal

With regards to the major legal and financial victory announced last month, Qualcomm has agreed to shell out $940 million to close the arbitration deicsion in favor of the Canadian software maker, BlackBerry — as it had given up on its hardware ambitions about a year ago. This is the final settlement agreement and the chipmaker has agreed to pay the amount, in full, before May 31st.

Qualcomm had earlier mentioned that it will award BlackBerry a sum total of $814.9 million, coupled with interest and attorneys’ fees, in the arbitration for over payment of royalties by the Canadian giant. Their dispute was sparked because of the chipmaker’s royalty cap program, which BlackBerry didn’t apply to the advance payments they made for the utilization of some of their patents.

Qualcomm, however tried to argue that payments made by its partners were supposed to be non-refundable and it was not liable of the same. The matter escalated and a binding decision was passed in favor of BlackBerry and the chipmaker merely said that the sale was associated with subscriber units and BlackBerry is likely getting refunded for the same. The final settlement amount spans across the whole calendar year 2016 and the first quarter of 2017 as well.

Back when the decision was announced, Qualcomm claimed that it wasn’t exactly satisfied with the decision but could do nothing as the same was binding and cannot be challenged. In an official statement, a spokesperson further continued to add,

While Qualcomm does not agree with the decision, it is binding and not appealable. The arbitration decision was limited to pre-payment provisions unique to BlackBerry’s license agreement with Qualcomm and has no impact on agreements with any other licensee.

And though the American chipmaker will be awarding BlackBerry the nearly billion dollars, it still isn’t exempt from trouble. Apple is the next hardware maker who is presently breathing down its neck and has also instructed its suppliers to do the same. Cupertino has already took a stand against the chipmaker and lodged a billion lawsuit against them for being charged unfairly for the patents they had nothing to do with. Intel and Samsung has also supported its FTC complaints of recent.

This was followed by unfair trade practice charges across the globe — specifically in China and South Korea. Over the span of past three months, the chipmaker denied any of the charges levied against it and tried to resolve its long-standing relation with Apple. But, the situation has worsened as the chipmaker has slashed its earning estimates by $500 million and sued Apple manufacturers for failing to pay royalties on the licensed technology, after they received instructions from Apple not to do so. This includes four very prominent names — Foxconn, Pegatron, Wistron, and Compal.