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BlackBerry awarded $815 million over royalties dispute with Qualcomm

13 April 2017

The companies had agreed to go to arbitration to resolve the question of whether a Qualcomm Inc. royalty cap program applied to BlackBerry Inc.'s non-refundable royalty prepayments for sales of. While the specific details of the agreements are unclear, the arbitration decision seems to support the notion that Qualcomm does at times overcharge for royalties.

BlackBerry has won $815 million in an arbitration battle against Qualcomm over royalty payments, the company said today.

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Blackberry Ltd (NASDAQ: BBRY), the mobile phone giant, stepped out of the shadows on Wednesday, to reveal it had been awarded an eye popping $814.9mln following arbitration. The news comes almost a year after the two companies agreed to arbitrate a dispute over royalties in April 2016. The company has recently shifted their focus from producing smartphones to software and they have a range of new security-focused products. They were fighting over whether Blackberry's royalties to Qualcomm should be included in an agreement that caps some licensing payments.

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It is the settlement of a case against Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) for royalty overpayments.

Each license agreement is unique, and Qualcomm had inked a much broader "business cooperation" agreement with Apple that was much more complex and covered a wider range of issues. It has since resumed and shares are up more than 10 percent.

Apple later filed its own $1 billion lawsuit against Qualcomm (and subsequent suits in two other countries) over royalties for basic patents, claiming that Qualcomm forced it to pay excessive fees and withheld almost $1 billion "as retaliation for responding truthfully to law [South Korean] enforcement agencies investigating them".