Qualcomm has a very large number of patents under its belt.
Many think that Qualcomm makes all of its money from their SoCs, but a big chunk of their yearly profits actually comes from the company licensing their IP to others.
Like other companies, Qualcomm puts these patents up on display and the Qualcomm Patent Wall is actually pretty well known within the industry.
However, the company has been under fire for its licensing agreements lately, with rulings that say Qualcomm has been taking advantage of their position and ‘charging more than they should’.
These cases have been popping up around the world and one of the companies that complained about it was BlackBerry.
In April of last year, BlackBerry and Qualcomm came together to talk about how much had been paid to use the patents that Qualcomm owns.
Both agreed to go through an arbitration process to see if Qualcomm’s agreement to cap certain royalties actually applied to the money BlackBerry was paying to use them.
The binding arbitration hearing was held in San Diego, California this year and this hearing ended on March 3rd.
In the end, BlackBerry was awarded a preliminary refund of over $800 million as the third party agreed with BlackBerry on the matter.
This is just a preliminary amount, though, and a final total will be decided on once interest and attorneys’ fees have been added on.
This is a huge win for BlackBerry and it will help fund their enterprise software business since they’ve moved away from manufacturing smartphones.
Qualcomm is in the middle of a lawsuit against Apple, too, who also feels that Qualcomm has been unfair with their licensing terms.
This decision for BlackBerry could be very helpful for Apple in their case, but Qualcomm doesn’t think so. Qualcomm says it will not affect the case with Apple and they hope the judge sees it that way.