Apple and Qualcomm’s lawsuit has recently been brought to San Diego courts. This international legal battle between two companies actually has a stake where smartphone prices could go down depending on how the proceedings go. Here’s what we know about this case.

According to New York Times, smartphone giant Apple and smartphone chip provider Qualcomm is currently quarreling over their operations for the chipset. In the bigger picture, the outcome of this case can help future rulings about exercising the limits of patent rights for a healthy competition, and the government’s legal extent on handling tech giants.

Apple and Qualcomm’s quarrel has already affected the iPhone production as Qualcomm doesn’t supply the chips for Apple right now. New York Times noted that Apple had to double up their orders from Intel to meet the supplies. Since the quarrel, contradicting statements about the talks between Apple and Qualcomm have been coming out from both companies. While Qualcomm states that talks are ongoing to find a way to settle the dispute, Apple announced that no talks have happened about discussing the case.

As for the chips, it’s a needed component for completing the smartphone as it allows the phone to have its mobile data technology as its wireless connection to the internet. However, Qualcomm’s patents require every mobile data chip, made outside their company, to require royalties from any mobile chip developer. Due to this patent royalty, the development cost of making the chips goes up. Depending on the case proceeds, the royalty requirement could be lifted and effectively reduce the cost.

On the other hand, Qualcomm notes that the price of the smartphones isn’t the fault  of their chip royalties but of mostly the new features that developers put into their phones. Since the introduction of the iPhone, Apple has always pushed for a new innovative feature and upgrade for the device.

For now, we’ll have to wait until April 15 to start the hearing. As much as cases go, hearings often end on their own time as each case progresses at their own pace.

Apple Phone An Iphone screen in Berlin on Jan. 29, 2019. Photo: ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images