Qualcomm could be forced to strike licensing deals covering its modem technology with rivals, following a preliminary ruling in a legal battle with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
The judgement was handed down despite a request from Qualcomm and the FTC asking the court to delay the preliminary ruling for 30 days while the pair worked through settlement talks. It is unclear how, or whether, the judgement will impact the discussions.
A US district court judge sided with the FTC in an intial conclusion relating to allegations the chipmaker’s licensing practices were anticompetitive. The decision comes ahead of a full trial, which is expected to open in January 2019.
The preliminary ruling touches on only part of the FTC’s complaint against Qualcomm, specifically that the company refused to licence standard-essential patents to rivals on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms, despite a commitment to do so.
Left unaddressed by the ruling is the main body of the FTC’s argument, which accused Qualcomm of pushing anticompetitive supply and licensing terms on smartphone manufacturers to maintain a monopoly position in the market.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back