Client Highlight: BlackBerry

Client Highlight: BlackBerry

S&C obtains $814.9 million arbitration award for BlackBerry.

On April 11, an S&C team of lawyers scored an $814.9 million arbitration award on behalf of client BlackBerry Limited in a binding arbitration against Qualcomm Incorporated. The award—one of the biggest arbitration awards on record—represents royalty payments made to Qualcomm in excess of those required under Qualcomm’s royalty cap program.

The dispute arose in 2015 following Qualcomm’s agreement to cap certain royalties applied to payments made by BlackBerry pursuant to a licensing deal. Blackberry argued that it was overpaying Qualcomm. After settlement discussions, the parties entered into a binding arbitration agreement. The arbitration hearing was held in San Diego, California, from February 27, 2017, to March 3, 2017.

The award will help bolster BlackBerry’s plans to invest in the growth of its software business. As of May 25, 2017, the Panel award exceeded $940 million when interest and attorneys’ fees were added to the initial award.