Apple and Qualcomm are currently engaged in a high-profile legal battle that’s done nothing but escalate since the beginning. In a new interview with Fortune, however, Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf seems to be changing the company’s tone, saying he now expects an out of court settlement…

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Mollenkopf says there are no new developments in the case as of right now, but notes “there’s no reason why” the issue won’t be settled out of court.

“There’s not really anything new going on,” Mollenkopf said. “Those things tend to get to resolved out of court and there’s no reason why I wouldn’t expect that to be the case here.”

Nevertheless, Mollenkopf goes on to say that he doesn’t have anything to announce right now.

Mollenkopf’s attitude has seemingly taken a sharp turn as Qualcomm has continually escalated its battle with Apple. The company counter sued Apple earlier this year and denied allegations that it engaged in monopolistic activities to prevent Apple from sourcing key components from competitors.

Instead of just denying Apple’s allegations, however, Qualcomm levied its own share of accusations at Apple. In its countersuit, the chipmaker accused Apple of breach of contract and interfering with agreements and relationships Qualcomm has with other companies. Furthermore, Qualcomm said that Apple is doing nothing more than trying to use its power to force Qualcomm into lowering its royalties for its own sake.

Most notably, Qualcomm officially filed a patent infringement suit against Apple last week. The suit seeks an iPhone import ban on allegations that the device infringes upon six patents related to battery life technology.

For its part, Apple has withheld around $1 billion in payments due to Qualcomm during the legal battle, while also saying the Qualcomm is double-dipping by charging once for a licence fee for use of its patented technology and again for the chip which uses that technology.

Speaking earlier this year, Tim Cook said he is open to settling the suit with Qualcomm, but noted it’s unlikely and he expects a lengthy legal battle instead. Cook said:

I don’t like litigation, and so if there’s another way, then that would be great, but at this point I don’t see it. I fully expect at this point in time that it will take some time, but in the end, I think common sense will prevail, and the courts will see it for what it is. So that’s the way I see it.

With Qualcomm’s CEO now voicing the same attitude, could we be looking at a settlement? We’ll keep you updated.


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