Date
19 November 2018
Qualcomm must license some patents involved in making modem chips to other firms, a US judge has said in a preliminary ruling in an ant-trust lawsuit against the chipmaker. Photo: Bloomberg
Qualcomm must license some patents involved in making modem chips to other firms, a US judge has said in a preliminary ruling in an ant-trust lawsuit against the chipmaker. Photo: Bloomberg

Qualcomm must license technology to rivals, US court rules

A US federal judge ruled on Tuesday that chipmaker Qualcomm must license some of its technology to competitors such as Intel Corp, Reuters reports.

The preliminary ruling came in an antitrust lawsuit against Qualcomm brought by the US Federal Trade Commission in early 2017, according to the report.

In the ruling in a California court, a judge said Qualcomm must license some patents involved in making so-called modem chips, which help smartphones connect to wireless data networks, to rival chip firms.

Qualcomm and the FTC had jointly asked the judge last month to delay ruling on the issue for up to 30 days while they pursued settlement talks.

Judge Lucy Koh denied that motion on Tuesday.

Settling with US regulators would be a turning point for Qualcomm, which has been defending its business model amid lawsuits from large customers such as Apple and Huawei Technologies, as well as dealing with regulatory challenges to its practices around the world, Reuters noted.

At issue in the civil litigation and regulatory disputes is whether Qualcomm’s patent licensing practices, when combined with its chip business, constitute anticompetitive behavior.

Regulators in South Korea and Taiwan initially ruled against Qualcomm, but it has appealed the rulings and settled some of them.

In August, Qualcomm settled with Taiwanese regulators for US$93 million and an agreement to invest US$700 million in the country over the next five years.

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RC

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