Apple Inc executive Eddy Cue will be questioned by Qualcomm Inc’s lawyers as part of a legal battle between the companies over billions of dollars in patents and licensing fees.
On Friday, San Diego Federal Judge Mitchell D. Dembin ordered Cue to be deposed in the case, granting a Qualcomm request and turning down Apple’s arguments against the move.
At the heart of the standoff is a dispute over how much Qualcomm can charge phone makers to use its patents, whether or not they use its chips. The San Diego, California-based company gets the majority of profit from licensing technology that covers the fundamentals of modern mobile phone systems. Apple has cut off license payments to Qualcomm and filed an antitrust lawsuit that accused the chipmaker of trying to monopolize the industry.
In November, Qualcomm filed a motion to depose Cue. Apple pushed back stating that Cue’s role overseeing services made him unrelated to the case. Qualcomm cited past Apple statements pinpointing Cue as one of the lead negotiators when the iPhone launched in 2007 exclusively on AT&T Inc’s network in the US.
Cue is one of Apple’s highest-profile executives, frequently announcing new features for Apple Music, Apple TV, and video-related services on stage at company events. He’s also Apple’s chief negotiator for digital music, video, and books and is one of Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook’s top lieutenants.
Apple and Qualcomm agreed in April to schedule a deposition of Cook in June. Apple has made other executives available, including chief operating officer Jeff Williams, marketing head Phil Schiller, hardware technologies lead Johny Srouji, former wireless software chief Isabel Mahe, according to legal filings. — Bloomberg