Qualcomm records mixed results in legal spats - Mobile World Live

Qualcomm records mixed results in legal spats

15 MAR 2019

Qualcomm won a nine-year legal battle regarding its business practices in Japan, as a more recent legal spat with Apple continues to progress.

The Japanese Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) issued a cease-and-desist order in 2009 affecting Qualcomm’s licensing in the country. In 2010, the Tokyo High Court issued a stay on the order.

Qualcomm today (15 March) said: “Following a nine-year evidentiary proceeding, the JFTC concluded that Qualcomm’s cross-licensing provisions and non-assertion covenants that were the subject of the cease-and-desist order did not violate Japanese antimonopoly law.”

Don Rosenberg, general counsel and EVP of Qualcomm, said: “Today’s decision affirms our confidence that once Qualcomm was afforded a full hearing, and actual evidence was considered, the JFTC would find that our cross-licensing program was completely lawful and the product of arms-length, good-faith negotiations with our Japanese licensees.”

The company said the Japanese watchdog is now the second antitrust agency after the Taiwan Fair Trade Commission to have revoked its ruling against Qualcomm.

With regard to the Apple action, Bloomberg reported that the iPhone maker will not have to face “billions of dollars in possible damages” related to its involvement with a South Korean investigation into Qualcomm. A federal judge ruled there is no evidence Apple’s cooperation violated the terms of an agreement under which Qualcomm paid billions of dollars in patent royalty rebates.

Reuters said the chip giant had a deal with Apple which would see it providing rebates on patent licensing, in return for a pledge not to attack Qualcomm through legal channels. Qualcomm argued Apple had urged other smartphone makers to complain to regulators and made “false and misleading” statements to the Korean Fair Trade Commission.

While this is just another stage in numerous active lawsuits involving Qualcomm and Apple, it does strengthen Apple’s position as progress continues.



Steve Costello

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