Eddy Cue, senior vice president of internet software and services at Apple Inc., speaks during a keynote session at the South By Southwest (SXSW) conference in Austin, Texas, U.S. (Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg)

Apple's Eddy Cue to Be Deposed in Qualcomm Patent Battle

(Bloomberg) -- 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.

Apple's Eddy Cue to Be Deposed in Qualcomm Patent Battle

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 U.S.

Cue, 53, is one of Apple’s highest-profile executives, having moved up through the ranks over 29 years at the company. As senior vice president for internet software and services, he frequently announces 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, and former wireless software chief Isabel Mahe, according to legal filings.

The case is Apple Inc. V. Qualcomm Inc. 3:17-cv-00108, U.S. District Court, Southern District of California (San Diego).

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