Home United States USA — IT Appeals Court Reverses Antirust Ruling in FTC vs Qualcomm

Appeals Court Reverses Antirust Ruling in FTC vs Qualcomm

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It’s been over three years since the United States FTC had charged Qualcomm with antitrust violations over cellular modem patents and business practices, a suit …
It’s been over three years since the United States FTC had charged Qualcomm with antitrust violations over cellular modem patents and business practices, a suit which had received a ruling in May of 2019 in disfavour of Qualcomm and which resulted in an injunction for Qualcomm to renegotiate its licensing agreements with its customers. Qualcomm had subsequently appealed the ruling, putting the order on hold, and today, a year later, the appeals panel from the District Court for Northern California has finally issued an opinion, reversing and vacating the injunction, resulting in a win for Qualcomm at this moment in time. The appeals panel’s opinion centres around the FTC’s use of anti-trust law to hold Qualcomm accountable for some of its controversial business practices in how it handles licensing of its patent portfolio and its “no license, no chip” mode of operation. The opinion attacks the original judgment in that the arguments presented do not fall under the umbrella of anti-trust law violations, and instead it being a matter of contract and patent law. The original charge revolved around Qualcomm’s supposed refusal to license cellular patents to competitor chip vendors, with the company countering this accusation that its patents only apply to OEM products, not the chips of components themselves: “Qualcomm argues that it has no antitrust duty to deal with its rivals, and in any case OEM-level licensing is consistent with Qualcomm’s SSO commitments because only OEM products (i.

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