The trial in question promised to be one of the most media of the year and was the maximum exponent of a long exchange of accusations, channeled to various lawsuits, between Apple and Qualcomm. At the center of the dispute were the patents of the processor giant and its licensing model.
Without anyone waiting, the two companies informed the court that they had reached an agreement. They drop all mutual complaints, set the terms of a new licensing agreement for the next six years and agreed that Apple will once again buy hardware from Qualcomm.
The deal extends to Apple's partners who have joined the initiative, Foxconn and Pegatron, companies that are now licensing the technology needed to ensure that the iPhone connects to mobile networks. The technology is patented by Qualcomm and so, even switching from processor vendor to Intel, as Apple did, could not completely "get rid" of Qualcomm.
Under the agreement, Apple admits that Qualcomm's entire portfolio of patents (about 14,000) has value, something that has an impact on the entire industry, as Forbes points out.
Whether core (non-essential) patents and non-essential patents should continue to be treated in the same way and to give companies the same kind of licensing rights and exploitation of such industrial property would be central to the judgment. If Apple's claims were upheld by the court to limit the latter, not only would Qualcomm see its business model shaken, largely made up of non-essential patents, but the entire industry protected by the US patent system .
The timing of the agreement between Apple and Qualcomm leaves much doubt, even because a Federal Trade Commission lawsuit is in progress, largely supported by Apple's complaints. The trial has already happened, missing the decision.
Intel's decision to abandon the 5G modem chips market was announced just hours after the deal, but Apple should not be a novelty and leave the company in a bad mood. Ensuring the evolution of the iPhone to the next mobile generation without wasting time could have been the great motto to get the company to admit that all of Qualcomm's patents are valuable and to license them under the terms it has criticized so much.