Qualcomm’s chief executive expressed optimism that the chip maker’s ongoing legal spat with Apple would wrap up, either through a settlement or a court verdict, by the end of the year.
Steve Mollenkopf told CNBC last week that as the case’s “legal milestones” approach starting this summer — including the deposition of Apple CEO Tim Cook — the environment for reaching a settlement would improve for both parties.
“People don’t like to have legal risk hanging over their head,” he told the network.
The San Diego-based company long supplied chips to the Silicon Valley tech giant to power its mobile devices, but the companies have waged a courtroom battle over Qualcomm’s licensing fees and allegations of patent infringement since early 2017.
The fight has weighed on Qualcomm, which likely needed White House intervention to stave off an unsolicited takeover bid and recently slashed 1,500 jobs in California as part of a plan to cut $1 billion in costs.
“The legal milestones start to happen here mid-summer and then through the end of the year,” Mollenkopf said. “So there will be a decision one way or the other — either through the courts or, in the way that I think everybody would prefer, in a settlement — here before the end of the year, if we’re lucky.”
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