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San Diego’s Qualcomm ready for more high-stakes IP litigation

Last month, two of the biggest technology companies in the world argued in front of a trade judge. San Diego’s Qualcomm prevailed in battle, though it was awarded what amounts to pocket change (a mere $31 million) after it convinced the judge that Apple had infringed on a pair of Qualcomm patents.

Qualcomm and Apple are set to go head-to-head again this month, this time in a San Diego courtroom. This time the stakes will be significantly higher for both firms in the next chapter of their ongoing legal battle over intellectual property rights.

Both tech titans are rolling out their A teams, with Apple CEO Tim Cook and Qualcomm CEO Steven Mollenkopf set to testify before federal Judge Gonzalo Curiel over patents and licensing. It should be noted that Curiel recently issued a preliminary ruling that the San Diego-based chipmaker owes Cupertino-based Apple nearly $1 billion in patent royalty payments.

Irwin Jacobs, the 85-year-old co-founder of Qualcomm is also slated to testify in a trial expected to last about three weeks. He’s expected to testify about the company’s licensing practices and strategy, among other topics.

Qualcomm is also expected to call on its former licensing lead, former licensing president and current president of technology licensing, according to a witness list.

“We are being treated to the no-holds-barred (intellectual property) battle between Qualcomm and Apple,” said a spokesperson for technology research and advisory firm Constellation Research. “Get the popcorn ready.”

Cook is expected to testify about Apple’s business strategies, relationship with Qualcomm and much more.

No one yet knows how this IP dispute will be resolved, but it is clear that IP protection is of critical importance to these two tech giants, as well as to companies that spend their time outside of the spotlights.