News of Qualcomm's string of lawsuits continues, this time through an arbitration result in a disagreement between the chipset maker and BlackBerry. BlackBerry alleged that they were overpaying Qualcomm for royalties.
Both companies had agreed earlier to settle the matter through arbitration rather than take the matter to trial. The hearing occurred earlier this year, from February 27th to March 3rd, but the associated statement was only released earlier today. Since the matter occurred in private arbitration we can't be sure of the exact details of the dispute, but the statement issued by Qualcomm today makes the end result pretty clear.
$814 Million is a whole lot of money for BlackBerry to get as a refund for the royalties they've paid Qualcomm. But, the final amount could end up being even larger, as it will be subject to additional costs including attorneys' fees. Those numbers will be announced on May 30th.
Qualcomm's stock has fallen a bit over 19% since this January and the announcement of their suit against Apple, and that trend has continued today as this news was released. Blackberry CEO John Chen remains hopeful, however, that this judgment isn't likely to sour the relationship between the two:
"BlackBerry and Qualcomm have a longstanding relationship and continue to be valued technology partners," said John Chen, Executive Chairman and CEO of BlackBerry. "We are pleased the arbitration panel ruled in our favor and look forward to collaborating with Qualcomm in security for ASICs and solutions for the automotive industry."
The full text of Qualcomm's statement is available below:
SAN DIEGO, April 12, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) announced a binding interim arbitration award requiring Qualcomm to refund a sum of $814.9 million, plus interest and attorneys' fees, to BlackBerry Incorporated related to royalties for certain past sales of subscriber units. The parties had agreed to arbitrate a contract dispute relating to one specific issue: whether Qualcomm's voluntary per unit royalty cap program applied to BlackBerry's non-refundable prepayments of royalties for sales of a specified number of subscriber units from 2010 through the end of 2015.
While Qualcomm does not agree with the decision, it is binding and not appealable. The arbitration decision was limited to prepayment provisions unique to BlackBerry's license agreement with Qualcomm and has no impact on agreements with any other licensee.