By Ken Stone
April 15 will be taxing for more than folks facing an IRS deadline. It’s the start of an expected 20-day San Diego trial for one-time partners Apple and Qualcomm.
But they’ll have plenty of company on the witness stand in the downtown courtroom of federal Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who two weeks ago issued a preliminary ruling that Qualcomm owes Apple nearly $1 billion in patent royalty rebate payments.Also set to testify is 85-year-old Irwin Jacobs, co-founder of Qualcomm, whose wireless chips are used in Apple’s iPhones.
“Dr. Jacobs will testify about the founding and early years of Qualcomm; Qualcomm’s contributions to cellular technology and standardized cellular technologies; Qualcomm’s business and
licensing practices and strategy; Qualcomm’s modem chip sales; and subject matter about which he was asked during his deposition,” according to the witness list.
Jacobs is expected to be on the stand 55 minutes.
“Of the 113 witnesses that the parties intend and expect to call at trial … eight, by Qualcomm’s count, may offer any testimony regarding the BCPA (Business Cooperation and Patent Agreement between the two companies),” said a March 27 filing.
Apple also will send former general counsel Bruce Sewell and chief operating officer Jeff Williams.
Qualcomm figures expected to testify include former lead of licensing Derek Aberle, former licensing president Marv Blecker, former general manager of technology licensing Eric Reifschneider and Alex Rogers, current president of Qualcomm technology licensing, said the filing.“We are being treated to the no-holds-barred [intellectual property] battle between Qualcomm and Apple,” Holger Mueller of Constellation Research Inc. was quoted as saying.
“Next round is the CEOs, and if there is a surprise move, it could be made by the opponent’s legal team now,” he told siliconangle.com. “Get the popcorn ready.”
Apple’s Cook is expected to testify (and grilled) for more than 90 minutes about his company’s business strategy, financial performance, relationship with Qualcomm and dealings with Asian contract manufacturers that build iPhones.
Qualcomm wants to go first with its “case-in-chief” against Apple and the contract manufacturers (CMs) such as Foxconn parent Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Ltd, Pegatron Corp., Wistron Corp. and Compal Electronics Inc.
Then would come Apple and the CMs’ defense against Qualcomm’s claims and case-in-chief against Qualcomm.
Third would be Qualcomm’s defense against Apple’s and the CMs’ claims and rebuttal.
And finally: “Apple and the CMs’ rebuttal, if any.”
Qualcomm also asks that Curiel hear outside the presence of the jury any evidence related only to claims and defenses that will not be tried to the jury.
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