Commitments and Contingencies (Notes)
|9 Months Ended|
Jun. 25, 2017
|Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract]|
|Commitments and Contingencies||
Commitments and Contingencies
Legal Proceedings. ParkerVision, Inc. v. QUALCOMM Incorporated: On May 1, 2014, ParkerVision filed a complaint against the Company in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida alleging that certain of the Company’s products infringe certain ParkerVision patents. On August 21, 2014, ParkerVision amended the complaint, now captioned ParkerVision, Inc. v. QUALCOMM Incorporated, Qualcomm Atheros, Inc., HTC Corporation, HTC America, Inc., Samsung Electronics Co., LTD., Samsung Electronics America, Inc. and Samsung Telecommunications America, LLC, broadening the allegations. ParkerVision alleged that the Company infringes 11 ParkerVision patents and seeks damages and injunctive and other relief. On September 25, 2015, ParkerVision filed a motion with the court to sever some claims against the Company and all other defendants into a separate lawsuit. In addition, on December 3, 2015, ParkerVision dismissed six patents from the lawsuit and granted the Company and all other defendants a covenant not to assert those patents against any existing products. On February 2, 2016, after agreement among the parties, the District Court stayed the remainder of the case pending the resolution of the complaint filed by ParkerVision against the Company and other parties with the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) described below. The Company had previously filed Inter-Partes Review petitions with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to invalidate all asserted claims of several of the remaining patents. On March 7, 2017, the USPTO decided in the Company’s favor with respect to all asserted claims of one such patent. After the ITC action described below was closed, the parties agreed to further stay the District Court case pending ParkerVision’s appeals of the USPTO’s invalidation decisions.
On December 14, 2015, ParkerVision filed another complaint against the Company in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida alleging patent infringement. Apple Inc., Samsung Electronics Co., LTD., Samsung Electronics America, Inc., Samsung Telecommunications America, LLC, Samsung Semiconductor, Inc., LG Electronics, Inc., LG Electronics U.S.A., Inc. and LG Electronics MobileComm U.S.A., Inc. were also named defendants. The complaint asserts that certain of the Company’s products infringe four additional ParkerVision patents and seeks damages and other relief. On December 15, 2015, ParkerVision filed a complaint with the ITC pursuant to Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 against the same parties asserting the same four patents. The complaint seeks an exclusion order barring the importation of products that use either of two Company transceivers or one Samsung transceiver and a cease and desist order preventing the Company and the other defendants from carrying out commercial activities within the United States related to such products. On January 13, 2016, the Company served its answer to the District Court complaint. On January 15, 2016, the ITC instituted an investigation. The District Court case was stayed on February 12, 2016 pending completion of the ITC investigation. Subsequently, ParkerVision announced that it had reached a settlement with Samsung which dismissed the Samsung entities from the ITC investigation and related District Court case. On February 2, 2017, the ITC granted ParkerVision’s motion to drop all but one patent and one accused product from the ITC investigation. On March 12, 2017, one day before the ITC hearing was scheduled to begin, ParkerVision moved to withdraw its ITC complaint in its entirety. The Company and the other defendants did not oppose the withdrawal of the complaint. On April 28, 2017, the ITC formally closed the investigation. On May 4, 2017, ParkerVision filed a motion to reopen the related District Court case, and the District Court granted the motion on May 26, 2017. The parties are currently negotiating a schedule for the District Court proceeding.
The Company believes ParkerVision’s claims are without merit.
BlackBerry Limited (BlackBerry) Arbitration: On April 20, 2016, the Company and BlackBerry entered into an agreement to arbitrate BlackBerry’s allegation that it overpaid royalties on certain past sales of subscriber units based on the alleged effect of specific provisions in its license agreement. The arbitration hearing was held during the week of February 27, 2017 by a three-judge panel under the rules of the Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services in San Diego, California. On April 11, 2017, the panel provided its decision, finding that the Company must pay to BlackBerry $815 million, plus interest at a rate of 10% from June 2015. The decision was limited to prepayment provisions unique to BlackBerry’s license agreement with the Company and has no impact on agreements with any other licensee. The decision was binding and not subject to appeal. The decision also found that BlackBerry was entitled to recover its reasonable attorneys’ fees in an amount to be determined by the panel. As a result, the Company recorded a reduction to licensing revenues of $974 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2017. On May 25, 2017, BlackBerry and the Company entered into a Joint Stipulation Regarding Final Award Agreement agreeing that the Company would pay BlackBerry $940 million to cover the award amount, pre-judgment interest and attorneys’ fees. This also reflected certain amounts that were owed to the Company by Blackberry. As a result, in the third quarter of fiscal 2017, the Company recorded royalty revenues in the QTL segment of $22 million, with the remaining amount recorded as an adjustment to revenues related to the arbitration decision. The Company paid this amount to BlackBerry on May 26, 2017.
Apple Inc. (Apple) v. QUALCOMM Incorporated: On January 20, 2017, Apple filed a complaint against the Company in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California seeking declarations with respect to several of the Company’s patents and alleging that the Company breached certain agreements and violated federal antitrust and California state unfair competition laws. In particular, Apple seeks declaratory judgments of non-infringement by Apple of nine of the Company’s patents, or in the alternative, a declaration of royalties Apple must pay for the patents. Apple further seeks a declaration that the Company’s sale of baseband chipsets exhausts the Company’s patent rights for patents embodied in those chipsets. Separately, Apple seeks to enjoin the Company from seeking excessive royalties from Apple and to disgorge royalties paid by Apple’s contract manufacturers that the court finds were not fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND). Apple also claims that the Company’s refusal to make certain payments to Apple under a Business Cooperation and Patent Agreement (Cooperation Agreement) constitutes a breach of contract in violation of California law and seeks damages in the amount of the unpaid payments, alleged to be approximately $1 billion. In addition, Apple claims that the Company has refused to deal with competitors in contravention of the Company’s agreements with applicable standard setting organizations, has used its market position to impose contractual obligations on Apple that prevented Apple from challenging the Company’s licensing practices, has tied the purchase of the Company’s CDMA-enabled and premium LTE-enabled chipsets to licensing certain of the Company’s patents and has required Apple to purchase baseband chipsets exclusively from the Company as a condition of the Company’s payment to Apple of certain rebates, in violation of Section 2 of the Sherman Act and the California Unfair Competition Law. Apple seeks injunctive relief with respect to these claims and a judgment awarding its expenses, costs and attorneys’ fees.
On April 10, 2017, the Company filed its Answer and Counterclaims (amended on May 24, 2017) in response to Apple’s complaint denying Apple’s claims and asserting claims against Apple. The counterclaims against Apple include tortious interference with the Company’s long-standing Subscriber Unit License Agreements (SULAs) with third-party contract manufacturers of Apple devices, causing those contract manufacturers to withhold certain royalty payments owed to the Company; breach of contract and the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing relating to the parties’ Cooperation Agreement; unjust enrichment and declaratory relief relating to the Cooperation Agreement; breach of contract based on Apple’s failure to pay amounts owed to the Company under a Statement of Work relating to a high-speed feature of the Company’s chipsets; breach of the parties’ software agreement; and violation of California Unfair Competition Law based on (i) Apple’s falsely claiming that there was “no discernible difference” between iPhones using the Company’s chipsets and iPhones using Intel Corp.’s chipsets, and (ii) Apple’s threatening the Company to prevent it from promoting the superior performance of the Company’s own chipsets. The Company also seeks declaratory judgments that the Company has satisfied its FRAND commitments with respect to Apple, and that the Company’s SULAs with the contract manufacturers do not violate either competition law or the Company’s FRAND commitments. On June 19, 2017, Apple filed a Partial Motion to Dismiss the Company’s counterclaim for violation of the California Unfair Competition Law. A hearing on that motion is scheduled for September 29, 2017. On June 20, 2017, Apple filed an Answer and Affirmative Defenses to the rest of the Company’s counterclaims, and also filed an Amended Complaint adding claims for declaratory judgments of invalidity of the nine patents that are subject to declaratory judgment claims in the original complaint, adding new declaratory judgment claims for non-infringement, invalidity and a declaration of royalties for nine more patents. Apple also added claims for declaratory judgments that certain of the Company’s agreements are unenforceable. The Company’s deadline to respond to the Amended Complaint is July 21, 2017. On July 18, 2017, Apple filed a motion to consolidate this action with QUALCOMM Incorporated v. Compal Electronics, Inc. et al., discussed below.
On January 23, 2017, an Apple subsidiary in China filed two complaints against the Company in the Beijing Intellectual Property Court. On March 31, 2017, the court granted an application by Apple Inc. to join the actions as a plaintiff, and Apple amended the complaints. One of the complaints alleges a violation of China’s Anti-Monopoly Law (AML complaint); the other complaint requests a determination of the terms of a patent license between the Company and Apple (FRAND complaint). In particular, the AML complaint alleges that (i) the Company has abused its dominant position in communication standard-essential patents licensing markets and certain global baseband chipset markets by charging and offering royalty terms that were excessively high; (ii) the Company refused to license certain implementers of standardized technologies, including Apple and baseband chipset manufacturers; (iii) the Company forced Apple to use only the Company’s products and services; and (iv) the Company bundled licenses to standard-essential patents with licenses to non-standard-essential patents and imposed other unreasonable or discriminatory trading terms on Apple in violation of the AML. The AML complaint seeks a decree that the Company cease the alleged abuse of dominance, as well as damages in the amount of 1 billion Chinese Renminbi (approximately $146 million based on the exchange rate on June 25, 2017). The FRAND complaint makes allegations similar to the AML complaint and further alleges that the Company refused to offer licensing terms for the Company’s cellular standard-essential patents consistent with the Company’s FRAND licensing commitments and failed to provide to Apple certain information about the Company’s patents. The FRAND complaint seeks (i) a declaration that the license terms offered to Apple by the Company for its mobile communication standard essential patents are not compliant with FRAND; (ii) an order that the Company cease its actions that allegedly violate the Company’s FRAND obligations, including pricing on unfair, unreasonable and excessive terms, refusing to deal, imposing unreasonable trade conditions and failing to provide information on the Company’s patents; and (iii) a determination of FRAND-compliant license terms for the Company’s Chinese standard-essential patents. Apple also seeks its expenses in each of the cases. On March 3, 2017, the Company filed objections to the court’s jurisdiction in these cases. On April 17, 2017, the Company filed (i) new jurisdictional objections to the amended complaints; and (ii) opinions on Apple Inc.’s application to join the suits as a plaintiff. On May 17, 2017, the Company filed supplemental jurisdictional objections.
On February 16, 2017, Apple and one of its Japanese subsidiaries filed four complaints against the Company in the Tokyo District Court. In three of the complaints, Apple seeks declaratory judgment of non-infringement by Apple of three of the Company’s patents. Apple further seeks a declaration that the Company’s patent rights with respect to those three patents are exhausted by the Company’s SULAs with the contract manufacturers of Apple’s devices as well as the Company’s sale of baseband chipsets. Apple also seeks an award of fees. On May 15, 2017, the Company learned of the fourth complaint. In that complaint, Apple and one of its Japanese subsidiaries seek damages of 100 million Japanese Yen (approximately $1 million based on the exchange rate on June 25, 2017) from the Company, based on allegations that the Company violated the Japanese Antimonopoly Act and the Japanese Civil Code. In particular, the fourth complaint alleges that (i) the Company holds a monopoly position in the market for baseband processor chipsets that implement certain cellular standards; (ii) the Company collects double royalties through its license agreements and the sale of chipsets; (iii) the Company refused to grant Apple a license on FRAND terms and forced Apple to execute a rebate agreement under unreasonable conditions; (iv) the Company refused to grant Apple a direct license; and (v) the Company demanded a license fee based on the market value of the total device. The Company has filed answers to two of the complaints and intends to file answers to the others prior to their due dates.
On March 2, 2017, the Company learned that Apple and certain of its European subsidiaries issued a Claim Form against the Company in the UK High Court of Justice, Chancery Division, Patents Court on January 23, 2017. The Claim Form alleges several European competition law claims, including refusal to license competing chipmakers, failure to offer Apple a direct license to the Company’s standard-essential patents on FRAND terms, demanding excessive royalties for the Company’s standard-essential patents, and demanding excessive license fees for the use of the Company’s standard-essential patents in connection with chipsets purchased from the Company. Apple also seeks declarations that it is a willing licensee and that commercial activity in relation to its iPhones and iPads attributable to, implemented by, or using the Company’s chipsets does not infringe any of the Company’s patents because the Company either exhausted its patent rights or granted Apple an implied license. Finally, Apple claims that five of the Company’s European (UK) patents are invalid.
On April 20, 2017, the Company was informed that on April 18, 2017, Apple and one of its Taiwanese subsidiaries filed a complaint against the Company in the Taiwan Intellectual Property Court alleging that the Company has abused a dominant market position in licensing wireless standard-essential patents and selling baseband chipsets, including improper pricing, refusal to deal, exclusive dealing, tying, imposing unreasonable trade terms and discriminatory treatment. The complaint seeks rulings that the Company not use the sales price of the terminal device as the royalty base for standard-essential patents; not leverage its cellular standard-essential patents to obtain licenses of our non-standard-essential patents or demand cross-licenses without proper compensation; not refuse, reduce, delay or take any other action to limit the supply of its baseband chipsets to non-licensees; that the Company must license its standard-essential patents on FRAND terms; and that the Company shall not, based on standard-essential patents, seek injunctions. The complaint also seeks damages of 10 million New Taiwan Dollars (less than $1 million based on the exchange rate on June 25, 2017), among other relief.
On July 14, 2017, the Company filed a motion for anti-suit injunction in the Southern District of California, asking the court to enjoin Apple from pursuing its foreign actions in the UK, China, Japan and Taiwan and from initiating other duplicative foreign actions, while the action in the Southern District of California is pending. Apple’s opposition to this motion is due on August 4, 2017. A hearing on this motion is scheduled for August 18, 2017.
The Company believes Apple’s claims in the above matters are without merit.
QUALCOMM Incorporated v. Compal Electronics, Inc. et al.: On May 17, 2017, the Company filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California against Compal Electronics, Inc. (Compal), FIH Mobile, Ltd., Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd. (together with FIH Mobile, Ltd., Foxconn), Pegatron Corporation (Pegatron) and Wistron Corporation (Wistron) asserting claims for injunctive relief, specific performance, declaratory relief and damages stemming from the defendants’ breach of contracts by ceasing the payment of royalties for iPhones and other devices which they manufacture for Apple. On May 24, 2017, the Company filed a Motion for Preliminary Injunction seeking to enjoin each of the defendants from violating their license agreements during the pendency of the litigation. On July 17, 2017, Compal, Foxconn, Pegatron and Wistron each filed third party complaints for contractual indemnity against Apple seeking to join Apple as a party to the action. On July 18, 2017, Apple filed an answer to these third party complaints acknowledging its indemnity agreements and consenting to be joined. On that same date, the defendants and Apple filed papers opposing the motion for preliminary injunction. A hearing on the preliminary injunction motion is scheduled for August 15, 2017. Also on July 18, 2017, the defendants filed an Answer and Counterclaims to the complaint, asserting defenses and counterclaims similar to allegations previously made by Apple in the Southern District of California case, discussed above. In addition, the defendants asserted certain new claims, including claims under Section 1 of the Sherman Act and California’s Cartwright Act. The defendants seek damages, declaratory relief, injunctive relief, restitution of certain royalties and other relief. Finally, on July 18, 2017, Apple filed a motion to consolidate this action with the Apple Inc. v. QUALCOMM Incorporated case in the Southern District of California, discussed above.
The Company believes Compal’s, Foxconn’s, Pegatron’s and Wistron’s claims in the above matter are without merit.
QUALCOMM Incorporated v. Apple Inc.: On July 6, 2017, the Company filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California against Apple asserting claims for damages and injunctive relief for infringement of six of the Company’s patents directed to a variety of features found in iPhone models. On July 7, 2017, the Company filed a complaint in the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) against Apple requesting that the ITC institute an investigation pursuant to Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 based on Apple’s infringement of the same six patents. The Company is seeking a limited exclusion order and cease and desist order against importation of iPhone models that do not contain a Qualcomm brand baseband processor. The patents have not been declared as essential to any standards organization and are not subject to commitments to license on FRAND terms.
On July 17, 2017, the Company filed complaints against Apple and certain of its subsidiaries in the Federal Republic of Germany, asserting infringement of one patent in the Mannheim Regional Court and infringement of another patent in Munich District Court. The complaints seek remedies including damages and injunctive relief. The patents have not been declared as essential to any standards organization and are not subject to commitments to license on FRAND terms.
3226701 Canada, Inc. v. QUALCOMM Incorporated et al: On November 30, 2015, plaintiffs filed a securities class action complaint against the Company and certain of its current and former officers in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. On April 29, 2016, plaintiffs filed an amended complaint. On January 27, 2017, the court dismissed the amended complaint in its entirety, granting leave to amend. On March 17, 2017, plaintiffs filed a second amended complaint, alleging that the Company and certain of its current and former officers violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, by making false and misleading statements regarding the Company’s business outlook and product development between November 19, 2014 and July 22, 2015. The second amended complaint seeks unspecified damages, interest, attorneys’ fees and other costs. On May 8, 2017, the Company filed a motion to dismiss the second amended complaint, which motion is pending. The Company believes the plaintiffs’ claims are without merit.
Consolidated Securities Class Action Lawsuit: On January 23, 2017 and January 26, 2017, respectively, two securities class action complaints were filed by purported stockholders of the Company in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California against the Company and certain of its current and former officers and directors. The complaints alleged, among other things, that the defendants violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, by making false and misleading statements and omissions of material fact in connection with certain allegations that the Company is or was engaged in anticompetitive conduct. The complaints sought unspecified damages, interest, fees and costs. On May 4, 2017, the court consolidated the two actions and appointed lead plaintiffs. On July 3, 2017, the lead plaintiffs filed a consolidated amended complaint asserting the same basic theories of liability and requesting the same basic relief. The defendants’ response to the consolidated amended complaint is due on September 1, 2017. The Company believes the plaintiffs’ claims are without merit.
Consumer Class Action Lawsuit: Since January 18, 2017, more than thirty consumer class action complaints have been filed against the Company in the United States District Courts for the Southern and Northern Districts of California, each on behalf of a putative class of purchasers of cellular phones and other cellular devices. In April 2017, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation transferred the cases that had been filed in the Southern District of California to the Northern District of California. On May 15, 2017, the court entered an order appointing the plaintiffs’ co-lead counsel, and on May 25, 2017, set a trial date of April 29, 2019. On July 11, 2017, plaintiffs filed a Consolidated Amended Complaint alleging that the Company violated California and federal antitrust and unfair competition laws by, among other things, refusing to license standard-essential patents to its competitors, conditioning the supply of certain of its baseband chipsets on the purchaser first agreeing to license the Company’s entire patent portfolio, entering into exclusive deals with companies including Apple Inc., and charging unreasonably high royalties that do not comply with the Company’s commitments to standard setting organizations. The complaint seeks unspecified damages and disgorgement and/or restitution, as well as an order that the Company be enjoined from further unlawful conduct. The Company believes the plaintiffs’ claims are without merit.
Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) Complaint: The JFTC received unspecified complaints alleging that the Company’s business practices are, in some way, a violation of Japanese law. On September 29, 2009, the JFTC issued a cease and desist order concluding that the Company’s Japanese licensees were forced to cross-license patents to the Company on a royalty-free basis and were forced to accept a provision under which they agreed not to assert their essential patents against the Company’s other licensees who made a similar commitment in their license agreements with the Company. The cease and desist order seeks to require the Company to modify its existing license agreements with Japanese companies to eliminate these provisions while preserving the license of the Company’s patents to those companies. The Company disagrees with the conclusions that it forced its Japanese licensees to agree to any provision in the parties’ agreements and that those provisions violate the Japanese Antimonopoly Act. The Company has invoked its right under Japanese law to an administrative hearing before the JFTC. In February 2010, the Tokyo High Court granted the Company’s motion and issued a stay of the cease and desist order pending the administrative hearing before the JFTC. The JFTC has held hearings on 36 different dates, with the next hearing scheduled for September 5, 2017.
Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) Complaint: On January 4, 2010, the KFTC issued a written decision finding that the Company had violated Korean law by offering certain discounts and rebates for purchases of its CDMA chipsets and for including in certain agreements language requiring the continued payment of royalties after all licensed patents have expired. The KFTC levied a fine, which the Company paid and recorded as an expense in fiscal 2010. The Company appealed to the Seoul High Court, and on June 19, 2013, the Seoul High Court affirmed the KFTC’s decision. On July 4, 2013, the Company filed an appeal with the Korea Supreme Court. There have been no material developments since then with respect to this matter.
Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) Investigation: On March 17, 2015, the KFTC notified the Company that it was conducting an investigation of the Company relating to the Korean Monopoly Regulation and Fair Trade Act (MRFTA). On December 27, 2016, the KFTC announced that it had reached a decision in the investigation, finding that the Company has violated provisions of the MRFTA. On January 22, 2017, the Company received the KFTC’s formal written decision, which finds that the following conducts violate the MRFTA: (i) refusing to license, or imposing restrictions on licenses for, cellular communications standard-essential patents with competing modem chipset makers; (ii) conditioning the supply of modem chipsets to handset suppliers on their execution and performance of license agreements with the Company; and (iii) coercing agreement terms including portfolio license terms, royalty terms and free cross-grant terms in executing patent license agreements with handset makers. The KFTC’s decision orders the Company to: (i) upon request by modem chipset companies, engage in good-faith negotiations for patent license agreements, without offering unjustifiable conditions, and if necessary submit to a determination of terms by an independent third party; (ii) not demand that handset companies execute and perform under patent license agreements as a precondition for purchasing modem chips; (iii) not demand unjustifiable conditions in the Company’s license agreements with handset companies, and upon request renegotiate existing patent license agreements; and (iv) notify modem chipset companies and handset companies of the decision and order imposed on the Company and report to the KFTC new or amended agreements. According to the KFTC’s decision, the foregoing will apply to transactions between the Company and the following enterprises: (i) handset manufacturers headquartered in Korea and their affiliate companies; (ii) enterprises that sell handsets in or to Korea and their affiliate companies; (iii) enterprises that supply handsets to companies referred in (ii) above and the affiliate companies of such enterprises; (iv) modem chipset manufacturers headquartered in Korea and their affiliate companies; and (v) enterprises that supply modem chipsets to companies referred in (i), (ii) or (iii) above and the affiliate companies of such enterprises. The KFTC’s decision also imposed a fine of approximately 1.03 trillion Korean Won (approximately $927 million), which was paid on March 30, 2017. The Company believes that its business practices do not violate the MRFTA, and on February 21, 2017 filed an action in the Seoul High Court to cancel the KFTC’s decision. On the same day, the Company filed an application with the Seoul High Court to stay the decision’s remedial order pending the Seoul High Court’s final judgment on the Company’s action to cancel the KFTC’s decision. The Seoul High Court held hearings on the Company’s application to stay the decision’s remedial order on July 10, 2017 and July 14, 2017. The Seoul High Court has not ruled on the Company’s action to cancel the KFTC’s decision or its application to stay the decision’s remedial order. The Seoul High Court ordered supplemental submissions related to the stay proceeding to be submitted by August 11, 2017.
Icera Complaint to the European Commission (Commission): On June 7, 2010, the Commission notified and provided the Company with a redacted copy of a complaint filed with the Commission by Icera, Inc. (subsequently acquired by Nvidia Corporation) alleging that the Company has engaged in anticompetitive activity. The Company was asked by the Commission to submit a preliminary response to the portions of the complaint disclosed to it, and the Company submitted its response in July 2010. Subsequently, the Company provided additional documents and information as requested by the Commission. On July 16, 2015, the Commission announced that it had initiated formal proceedings in this matter. On December 8, 2015, the Commission announced that it had issued a Statement of Objections expressing its preliminary view that between 2009 and 2011, the Company engaged in predatory pricing by selling certain baseband chipsets to two customers at prices below cost, with the intention of hindering competition. A Statement of Objections informs the subject of the investigation of the allegations against it and provides an opportunity to respond to such allegations. It is not a determination of the final outcome of the investigation. On August 15, 2016, the Company submitted its response to the Statement of Objections. If a violation is found, a broad range of remedies is potentially available to the Commission, including imposing a fine and/or injunctive relief prohibiting or restricting certain business practices. It is difficult to predict the outcome of this matter or what remedies, if any, may be imposed by the Commission. The Company believes that its business practices do not violate the European Union (EU) competition rules.
European Commission (Commission) Investigation: On October 15, 2014, the Commission notified the Company that it is conducting an investigation of the Company relating to Articles 101 and/or 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. On July 16, 2015, the Commission announced that it had initiated formal proceedings in this matter. On December 8, 2015, the Commission announced that it had issued a Statement of Objections expressing its preliminary view that since 2011 the Company has paid significant amounts to a customer on condition that it exclusively use the Company’s baseband chipsets in its smartphones and tablets. This conduct has allegedly reduced the customer’s incentives to source chipsets from the Company’s competitors and harmed competition and innovation for certain baseband chipsets. A Statement of Objections informs the subject of the investigation of the allegations against it and provides an opportunity to respond to such allegations. It is not a determination of the final outcome of the investigation. On June 27, 2016, the Company submitted its response to the Statement of Objections. If a violation is found, a broad range of remedies is potentially available to the Commission, including imposing a fine and/or injunctive relief prohibiting or restricting certain business practices. It is difficult to predict the outcome of this matter or what remedies, if any, may be imposed by the Commission. The Company believes that its business practices do not violate the EU competition rules.
United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) v. QUALCOMM Incorporated: On September 17, 2014, the FTC notified the Company that it was conducting an investigation of the Company relating to Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act (FTCA). On January 17, 2017, the FTC filed a complaint against the Company in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California alleging that the Company engaged in anticompetitive conduct and unfair methods of competition in violation of Section 5 of the FTCA by conditioning the supply of baseband processors on the purchaser first agreeing to a license to the Company’s standard-essential patents, paying incentives to purchasers of baseband processors to induce them to accept certain license terms, refusing to license its standard-essential patents to the Company’s competitors and entering into alleged exclusive dealing arrangements with Apple Inc. The complaint seeks a permanent injunction against the Company’s alleged violations of the FTCA and other unspecified ancillary equitable relief. The Company filed a motion to dismiss the FTC’s complaint on April 3, 2017, which the court denied on June 26, 2017. On April 19, 2017, the court set a trial date for January 4, 2019. The Company believes the FTC’s claims are without merit.
Taiwan Fair Trade Commission (TFTC) Investigation: On December 4, 2015, the TFTC notified the Company that it is conducting an investigation into whether the Company’s patent licensing arrangements violate the Taiwan Fair Trade Act (TFTA). On April 27, 2016, the TFTC specified that the allegations under investigation include whether: (i) the Company jointly licensed its patents rather than separately licensing standard-essential patents and non-standard-essential patents; (ii) the Company’s royalty charges are unreasonable; (iii) the Company unreasonably required licensees to grant it cross-licenses; (iv) the Company failed to provide lists of licensed patents to licensees; (v) the Company violated a FRAND licensing commitment by declining to grant licenses to chipset makers; (vi) the Company declined to sell chipsets to unlicensed potential customers; and (vii) the Company provided royalty rebates to certain companies in exchange for their exclusive use of the Company’s chipsets. If a violation is found, a broad range of remedies is potentially available to the TFTC, including imposing a fine or requiring modifications to the Company’s business practices. At this stage of the investigation, it is difficult to predict the outcome of this matter or what remedies, if any, may be imposed by the TFTC. The Company believes that its business practices do not violate the TFTA. The Company continues to cooperate with the TFTC as it conducts its investigation.
The Company will continue to vigorously defend itself in the foregoing matters. However, litigation and investigations are inherently uncertain. Accordingly, the Company cannot predict the outcome of these matters. The Company has not recorded any accrual at June 25, 2017 for contingent losses associated with these matters based on its belief that losses, while possible, are not probable. Further, any possible range of loss cannot be reasonably estimated at this time. The unfavorable resolution of one or more of these matters could have a material adverse effect on the Company’s business, results of operations, financial condition or cash flows. The Company is engaged in numerous other legal actions not described above arising in the ordinary course of its business and, while there can be no assurance, believes that the ultimate outcome of these other legal actions will not have a material adverse effect on its business, results of operations, financial condition or cash flows.
Indemnifications. The Company generally does not indemnify its customers and licensees for losses sustained from infringement of third-party intellectual property rights. However, the Company is contingently liable under certain product sales, services, license and other agreements to indemnify certain customers against certain types of liability and/or damages arising from qualifying claims of patent, copyright, trademark or trade secret infringement by products or services sold or provided by the Company. The Company’s obligations under these agreements may be limited in terms of time and/or amount, and in some instances, the Company may have recourse against third parties for certain payments made by the Company.
Through June 25, 2017, the Company has received a number of claims from its direct and indirect customers and other third parties for indemnification under such agreements with respect to alleged infringement of third-party intellectual property rights by its products. Reimbursements under indemnification arrangements have not been material to the Company’s consolidated financial statements. The Company has not recorded any accrual for contingent liabilities at June 25, 2017 associated with these indemnification arrangements based on the Company’s belief that additional liabilities, while possible, are not probable. Further, any possible range of loss cannot be reasonably estimated at this time.
Purchase Obligations. The Company has agreements with suppliers and other parties to purchase inventory, other goods and services and long-lived assets. Obligations under these agreements at June 25, 2017 for the remainder of fiscal 2017 and for each of the subsequent four years from fiscal 2018 through 2021 were $3.6 billion, $1.8 billion, $1.0 billion, $373 million and $122 million, respectively, and $28 million thereafter. Of these amounts, for the remainder of fiscal 2017 and for each of the subsequent four years from fiscal 2018 through 2021, commitments to purchase integrated circuit product inventories comprised $2.9 billion, $1.5 billion, $875 million, $297 million, $76 million, respectively, and $28 million thereafter. Integrated circuit product inventory obligations represent purchase commitments for raw materials, semiconductor die, finished goods and manufacturing services, such as wafer bump, probe, assembly and final test. Under the Company’s manufacturing relationships with its foundry suppliers and assembly and test service providers, cancelation of outstanding purchase commitments is generally allowed but requires payment of costs incurred through the date of cancelation, and in some cases, incremental fees related to capacity underutilization.
Operating Leases. The Company leases certain of its land, facilities and equipment under noncancelable operating leases, with terms ranging from less than one year to 21 years and with provisions in certain leases for cost-of-living increases. Future minimum lease payments at June 25, 2017 for the remainder of fiscal 2017 and for each of the subsequent four years from fiscal 2018 through 2021 were $30 million, $110 million, $93 million, $71 million and $51 million, respectively, and $86 million thereafter.
Other Commitments. At June 25, 2017, the Company was committed to fund certain strategic investments up to $537 million. Of this amount, $85 million is expected to be funded in the remainder of fiscal 2017. The remaining commitments represent the maximum amounts that do not have fixed funding dates and/or are subject to certain conditions. Actual funding may be in lesser amounts or not at all.
The entire disclosure for commitments and contingencies.
Reference 1: http://www.xbrl.org/2003/role/presentationRef