Seeing the words "$31 million ... is small change" seems unreal to an individual like me, but in patent infringement cases, particularly in the USA, this really is small change.
As Apple and Qualcomm position themselves before their next "big" case set for April 2019 - where sums in the $billions are being mentioned - this latest finding has been indicated by Qualcomm as a validation of its technology’s importance to iPhones.
After the most recent finding Don Rosenberg, Qualcomm's general counsel said “The technologies invented by Qualcomm and others are what made it possible for Apple to enter the market and become so successful so quickly."
It seems the legal battle between the two parties is set to be long and brutal, with reports suggesting no settlements are being considered.
With disputes not only in the US, but in other jurisdictions - watch this space for when the sums involved get bigger (much bigger) than the small change of this case.
The $31 million penalty is small change for Apple, the second most valuable U.S. company after Microsoft Corp, with a market value of $866 billion and annual revenue totaling hundreds of billions of dollars. But the setting of a per-phone royalty rate for Qualcomm’s technology gives the chip supplier a fresh line of attack in its two-year old legal battle with Apple. The biggest case, filed by Apple in early 2017, begins in April. Apple has sought to dismantle what it calls Qualcomm’s illegal business model of both licensing patents and selling chips to phone makers. Qualcomm has accused Apple of using its technology without paying.