Qualcomm Required To License Key Patents To Others By Court Ruling

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San Diego chip giant Qualcomm is known to play things quite close to the chest when it comes to patents and sharing technology. The company has been under hot water in Europe before when others accused it of conducting monopolistic practices. Now, a US Federal court has ruled against the company in a preliminary ruling. Take a look below for more details.

Qualcomm Required To License Its Key Patents To Other Companies Rules Federal Court In A FTC Antitrust Lawsuit

In 2017, the Federal Trade Commission filed an anti-trust lawsuit against Qualcomm. The suit is set to go to trial next year, and today's ruling is preliminary in its nature. Its made by Judge Lucy Koh of the US District Court for Northern California.

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Judge Koh has ruled that Qualcomm must license some of its patents for modems to rival firms. While the company has licensed its technology to other companies before, licensing of patents will allow competitors to build their own products based on Qualcomm's designs.

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The FTC had sued Qualcomm in 2017 for alleged monopolistic behavior related to baseband processors. According to the FTC, Qualcomm has, "engaged in exclusionary conduct that taxes its competitors' baseband processor sales, reduces competitors' ability and incentive to innovate, and raises prices paid by consumers for cell phones and tablets."

Today's ruling by Judge Koh is the latest in a series of troubles Qualcomm has gotten into with national governments. The company has already been fined by both China and South Korea. Taiwan, on the other hand, let Qualcomm off the hook after the company promised to invest $700 million in the company. The preliminary ruling comes at a time when carriers and smartphone vendors are all set for 5G - although today's ruling should have little impact on the next-generation wireless connectivity standard.

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