A senior US judge has ruled out an earlier ruling in May last year, which ruled that Qualcomm was no longer allowed to bundle more patent licenses with the delivery of its modem chips. These are patents about making modems.
The FTC felt that Qualcomm made this policy more difficult for competing chip makers because the licensing terms stipulated that a manufacturer who released a phone with a modem from a manufacturer other than Qualcomm would still be forced to pay royalties for the basic essentials. patents of Qualcomm. According to the FTC, this amounts to an additional burden on manufacturers purchasing chips from Qualcomm’s competitors because it made these competitors’ products appear more expensive than the bundles of chips and patents that Qualcomm offered. The regulator was given a lower court in May last year.
In the new judgment, the judge states that there is no competition law violation in the case between the FTC and Qualcomm and that Qualcomm is therefore not acting unlawfully if it charges smartphone makers additional license fees for its patents if they want to purchase modem chips. The judge rules that it is the so-called no license, no chipspolicy does not create an additional surcharge for the sale of competitors’ modem chips and he believes that this does not undermine competition.
This ruling means that Qualcomm is no longer dealing with the previous obligation to renegotiate licensing agreements with smartphone manufacturers, which is likely to save Qualcomm a lot of money. According to Bloomberg, the FTC has stated in a statement that it is disappointed with the new ruling. Qualcomm has announced in an email that the judge has now validated Qualcomm’s business model and patent licensing program, underlining its “huge contributions to the industry”, according to Qualcomm.