Qualcomm's (NASDAQ: QCOM) legal troubles have escalated to the point where it recently felt compelled to lower its revenue guidance  for the current quarter by a whopping $500 million. According to the company, major customer Apple "is improperly interfering with Qualcomm's long-standing agreements with Qualcomm's licensees."

This interference involves the iEverything maker's decision to withhold royalty payments to its contract manufacturers, which in turn are responsible for paying Qualcomm licensing fees on its patents. The revised revenue expectations are for the quarter that ended March 31.

So far, investors don't seem  overly concerned about the ongoing dispute which first reared its ugly head in January. Qualcomm's share price was essentially flat after it announced the impact of its latest legal battle. Fans of the chipmaker may recall it is also facing separate legal actions from South Korea's Fair Trade Commission and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission around similar issues of patent licensing fees and deals, both of which are as-yet unresolved.

The revenue-expectations cut comes just a week or so after Qualcomm issued its initial guidance for the quarter. Until recently, it had expected at least partial payments from the those suppliers, but it now appears that they will not materialize at all.

Qualcomm initially expected to report revenues of between $5.3 billion and $6.1 billion for the recently completed quarter, a range which would have been somewhere between a 12% year-over-year decline to a 1% improvement. With expectations of no royalty payments from iPhone and cellular-enabled iPad sales, Qualcomm's guidance now calls for revenue of $4.8 billion to $5.6 billion, a 7% to 21% nosedive.


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Tim Brugger has no position in any stocks mentioned. 

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