Recent Cases on Anticipatory Breach of Contract

Anticipatory breach of contract is a legal term that refers to the violation of an agreement by a party before the deadline for performance has even arrived. In simpler terms, this means that one party has communicated their intention not to fulfill the agreed-upon terms of the contract in advance of the deadline.

Recently, there have been a number of high-profile cases related to anticipatory breach of contract. The following are some of the most notable examples:

1. The Apple-Qualcomm dispute

Apple and Qualcomm have been embroiled in a legal battle for years, with Apple accusing Qualcomm of charging excessive royalties for its patented technology. In 2017, Qualcomm filed a lawsuit against Apple, claiming that the company had breached its contract by encouraging other companies to not pay royalties to Qualcomm. Apple countersued, alleging that Qualcomm had breached its contract by failing to pay $1 billion in rebates owed to Apple.

In this case, both parties accused each other of anticipatory breach of contract, with each party claiming that the other had communicated their intention not to fulfill the terms of the agreement.

2. The Viacom-CBS merger

In 2019, Viacom and CBS announced that they would merge to form a new media company. However, in the months leading up to the merger, Viacom accused CBS of breaching its contract by failing to fulfill certain financial obligations related to the deal. Viacom claimed that CBS had communicated its intention not to fulfill the terms of the contract, thus constituting an anticipatory breach.

3. The Uber-Waymo lawsuit

In 2017, Waymo, a subsidiary of Alphabet (Google`s parent company), filed a lawsuit against Uber, alleging that the ride-hailing company had stolen trade secrets related to self-driving car technology. Waymo claimed that Uber had hired a former Waymo employee who had downloaded confidential information before leaving the company, and that Uber had used this information to develop its own self-driving car technology.

Waymo accused Uber of anticipatory breach of contract, claiming that the company had breached a confidentiality agreement between the two companies by using Waymo`s trade secrets without permission.

In conclusion, these recent cases highlight the importance of adhering to the terms of a contract, and the consequences that can arise when one party communicates their intention not to fulfill those terms in advance of the deadline. Anticipatory breach of contract can lead to costly legal battles and damage to business relationships, making it crucial for all parties to ensure that they fulfill their obligations under a contract.

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