Done and done: BlackBerry ties up $940m settlement with Qualcomm

Patent case wraps up as sides agree on final tally

Former smartphone king BlackBerry has today finalized its settlement with Qualcomm in their long-running battle over royalty payments.

Under the terms of the settlement announced on Friday, Qualcomm will give $940m for back royalty payments and for legal fees accrued during the years-long court fight. BlackBerry said that Qualcomm will pay the full amount by May 31, 2017.

The number won't come as much of a surprise. In April a US arbitration judge ruled that BlackBerry should get $814m back from payments it made to Qualcomm on devices sold between 2010 and 2015.

Qualcomm, meanwhile, said it had put aside $974m to cover its costs and the expected damages for the final settlement.

With the $940m figure now finalized and the case pretty much finished, both sides are looking to move on. As the deal expired in 2015, no future royalties will be in question and both sides have said they look forward to collaborating on new products.

For Qualcomm, the settlement means one less legal battle to worry about, as the chip designer continues to pursue an international court campaign over licensing payments. While most of the headlines have concerned its suit with Apple, Qualcomm also says it is trying to recover unpaid licensing fees from a number of sub-contractors who make the chips for the iPhone and have, in some cases, withheld payment at Apple's behest.

There's also the matter of a budding investor revolt, as a shareholder filed suit [PDF] earlier this week against Qualcomm execs who presided over the recent stretch of legal strife and poor financial results. ®


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