Apple and Qualcomm's CEOs make contradictory statements about settlement talks
Yesterday, Apple CEO Tim Cook was interviewed by CNBC's Jim Cramer. During the conversation, the topic of Apple's legal issues with Qualcomm was brought up. Besides discussing Qualcomm's reluctance to license its standards essential patents in a "Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory" (FRAND) manner, Cook called Qualcomm's licensing fees "exorbitant." He also said that Apple and Qualcomm haven't been in any settlement talks since the third calendar quarter of last year.
According to Reuters, Qualcomm responded today by calling Cook's comments about the settlement talks "misleading," stating that Apple's CEO incorrectly interpreted comments made by Qualcomm's CEO,Steve Mollenkopf (seen in image at the top of this article) back in November. Ironically, Mollenkopf was speaking with Jim Cramer when he said that Qualcomm and Apple were close to resolving the differences between the two firms. Qualcomm's chief executive said "We do talk as companies, and I think what you’re seeing, really, are activities consistent, really, with the fourth quarter of the game, and not the first quarter." Mollenkopf's statements seem to contradict Cook's comments. Qualcomm says that its CEO's statement is accurate.
Apple and Qualcomm will kick off their legal battles in court starting in April. While Apple accuses Qualcomm of various wrong doings related to its patent licensing activities, Qualcomm accuses Apple of owing it as much as $7 billion in unpaid royalties. Currently, Qualcomm is in court facing antitrust charges from the FTC, also related to how it licenses it patents. Today is the fourth day of a 10 day non-jury trial. If Judge Lucy Koh rules in favor of the FTC, Qualcomm could be forced to change the way it does business with smartphone manufacturers.