Qualcomm Must License Modem Patents to Competitors

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by AlphaAtlas, Nov 7, 2018.

  1. AlphaAtlas

    AlphaAtlas [H]ard|Gawd Staff Member

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    On Tuesday, a federal judge ruled that Qualcomm must license some of its modem patents to its competitors, like Samsung and Intel. The judge said "court precedent established that Qualcomm’s commitments 'include an obligation to license to all comers, including competing modem chip suppliers.' And those licenses have to be offered on fair and reasonable terms." Qualcomm got sued by The FTC, The Korea Fair Trade Commission, Apple, and several apple manufacturing partners last year over the antitrust allegations, and this ruling is seen as a major setback in their defense.

    "This is a game-changer for the industry," said Florian Mueller, an intellectual-property analyst who studies patent litigation. Qualcomm historically has licensed patents by charging device makers a percentage of the sales price up to $400 on handsets. The ruling means that it could only assess fees based on the $15 to $20 cost of modem chips in the future, Mr. Mueller said.
     
  2. Trepidati0n

    Trepidati0n [H]ardForum Junkie

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    So...apple is going to reduce the price of their phones with this change?
     
  3. gigaxtreme1

    gigaxtreme1 2[H]4U

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    Easy to tie up in court all the way to the supreme. Easy on conspiracy to commit IP theft. Kind of a hotbutton issue now.
     
  4. Aireoth

    Aireoth 2[H]4U

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    Yeah, by $-200
     
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  5. Meeho

    Meeho [H]ardness Supreme

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    What was the reasoning behind this decision?
     
  6. sirmonkey1985

    sirmonkey1985 [H]ard|DCer of the Month - July 2010

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    qualcomm basically has a monopoly on the technology so they had the upper hand in charging what ever the hell they wanted for it while holding other companies hostage that refused to pay those ludicrous prices.
     
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  7. Meeho

    Meeho [H]ardness Supreme

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    What about Intel, AMD, Nvidia, Apple...?
     
  8. Trepidati0n

    Trepidati0n [H]ardForum Junkie

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    They had better lawyers.
     
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  9. mord

    mord Limp Gawd

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    FTFY.

    Edit - some didn't get my sarcasm in this post. The post I "fixed" was saying apple wouldn't pass the full $400 in savings to customers. I was implying why just make $200 more when they can make $600 more. Not only do they not pass the savings, they charge even more.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2018
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  10. Link

    Link Gawd

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    Over SJ's dead body!
     
  11. Aireoth

    Aireoth 2[H]4U

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    Apple reducing their phones would be a negative, double negative is a positive.

    1000 minus -200= 1200
     
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  12. Spidey329

    Spidey329 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Do we know what the contracted % was, though? Not saying they weren't charging a lot, but hard to know without the actual numbers.

    Not entirely clear, but I take that to mean that they're charging a % of the MSRP up to a price of $400.

    So:
    5% of $300 MSRP = $15
    5% of $800 MSRP = $20 [only first $400 is factored]

    Given the part about the cost of the chipsets, I'm taking it is a cost + royalty fee structure. So they'd pay $15 for the part and then something like 1% of the MSRP (MSRP capped at $400). Seems their royalty license part may have been stricken down. That'll probably mean the per-part cost will likely go up now.
     
  13. XenIneX

    XenIneX Gawd

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    When Qualcomm’s intellectual property was incorporated into cellular communications standards, the company made commitments to standard-setting organizations that it would make its relevant patents available for use. Qualcomm has argued that the agreements didn’t require it to license technology to rivals.

    Judge Koh rejected that argument. She said court precedent established that Qualcomm’s commitments “include an obligation to license to all comers, including competing modem chip suppliers.” And those licenses have to be offered on fair and reasonable terms, the judge said.


    When you license your IP to standards bodies for critical national infrastructure, you step really fucking lightly to avoid any implication of anti-competitive behavior. Otherwise, you're looking at billion-dollar fines, and getting reamed out in court by every multibillion-dollar multinational with skin in the game.
     
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  14. Master_shake_

    Master_shake_ [H]ardForum Junkie

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    jesus christ lucy koh again?
     
  15. Lunas

    Lunas [H]ardForum Junkie

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    why would they care with the exception of apple and samsung the other 3 don't make mobile chips for phones... Samsung has their own competing tech and did not need this Intel had its own but has since bowed out of that market nvidia and amd also don't do too much by way of mainstream arm nvidia did have the x1 and k1 chips they put in some tablets but again they bowed out of the mobile SoC market and the only arm tech they are working on is destined for inside cars and integrated dashboards.

    So bottom line is Apple threw a fit nobody would license radio tech to them at the price that they wanted to pay so they could make their own in house SoC for the iphone.

    This is a miscarriage of the IP court and solely benefits apple.
     
  16. Meeho

    Meeho [H]ardness Supreme

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    I was thinking in broader IP monopoly terms. X86, graphics...
     
  17. XenIneX

    XenIneX Gawd

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    Wat?

    Intel makes LTE modems, and is the sole source for Apple's latest crop of devices. Nvidia blew a third of a billion on buying a wireless design house in 2011, then had to shut it down four years later because they couldn't break into the market. AMD's the only one of those for whom I can't find any hint of aspirations toward mobile communications silicon.

    And there's no "competing tech" here. It's all -- necessarily -- the same licensed IP, because otherwise there'd be no interoperability between implementations. IP that Qualcomm submitted to the LTE standards body, which they then (allegedly) violated the licensing terms/practices of.

    Why are you stanning for Qualcomm? A cursory search shows that in the past two years alone, they've been nailed for a solid $2.5 billion in antitrust suits across a broad swath of East Asia and Europe -- part of a pattern of IP fuckery going back a decade and more.

    Qualcomm is the literal worst.
     
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  18. whatevs

    whatevs Limp Gawd

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    Maybe im missing something, but im surprised i'm with Qualcomm on this one. Not licensing patents out, ok thats not allowed. But charging a portion of profits, thats super reasonable.
     
  19. mord

    mord Limp Gawd

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    Yes, Exactly. That was my point.
    If the production cost goes down by $400, why reduce the price by $200 to make a net $200 more in profit for no additional work when you can raise the price by $200 and make an extra $600 in profit? One of these is obviously a better business decision.
     
  20. dgz

    dgz [H]ardness Supreme

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    What, why?

    spaceballs-darkhelmet-550x309.jpg

    Seriously, though. They kind of deserve this. It worked for Rambus
     
  21. aaronspink

    aaronspink [H]ard|Gawd

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    If Qualcomm kept everything to themselves as a proprietary standard? Sure, but they pushed their technology to be part of LTE and explicitly agreed to FRAND terms for licensing.