Court filing seems to show that the DOJ favors Qualcomm

Court filing seems to show that the DOJ favors Qualcomm
Earlier this year, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) opposed Qualcomm in a 10-day nonjury trial that was heard by Judge Lucy Koh. You might recall that she was the judge who heard the original Apple v. Samsung patent infringement case back in 2012. FTC v. Qualcomm was all about the chip maker's sales tactics and whether they violated antitrust laws and regulations.

Qualcomm's "no license, no chips" policy is one of these tactics. In addition, the company's penchant for charging royalties based on the retail price of a phone (now capped at $400) was under attack during the trial, along with its alleged refusal to accept fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) licensing on its standard-essential patents. Manufacturers need to license these patents for their products to meet technical standards.

According to Scribd (via Foss Patents), yesterday Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim submitted a filing with the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. In the filing, Delrahim argues that if Judge Koh rules against Qualcomm on any of the claims made by the FTC, she should not order any remedies before scheduling additional briefings and holding an evidentiary hearing. In other words, the judge shouldn't rush to punish Qualcomm even if he she rules against the chip maker.

The Assistant Attorney General's position isn't really much of a surprise for those who read his remarks from last September's IAM Patent Licensing Conference. He said that companies that refuse to patent standard-essential patents using FRAND terms should not face antitrust charges. Considering that Delrahim used to represent Qualcomm, we have to wonder whether the phone manufacturers that have complained about Qualcomm's onerous terms will get a fair shake at the end of the day.

19-05-02 DOJ Statement in F... by on Scribd

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6 Comments

1. domfonusr

Posts: 1073; Member since: Jan 17, 2014

Qualcomm's new arrangement with Apple nets them $9 of royalty on every iPhone of a value of $400 or greater. That is only 2.25%, but it is still a percentage royalty on the whole device, without regard as to whose modem (or other parts) is in it. What is funny to me is that the same people who complained that Qualcomm was a big unfair bully to Apple, are now coming back and saying that Apple has won in this situation, and refuse to see this capitulation by Apple as a negative. I am worried that Qualcomm has not been sufficiently knocked down yet, and as usual, I still see Apple trying to wiggle their way to writing the history books such that "we won" in order to make themselves sound invincible. I have spent many years regarding Apple and Qualcomm as the two big bullies in the room. When Apple came "crawling back" to Qualcomm, my instant reaction was "holey moley, Qualcomm is the bigger bully" but now I am wondering if I got it all wrong. I still can't tell, at least not until the FTC vs. Qualcomm verdict is in. But for now, they may be putting aside their differences to enable each other to continue bullying their other targets...

4. Leo_MC

Posts: 6710; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

How do you know that Apple is going to be paying 9$ and is not going to be paying 3.456 Indian rupees?

5. JimBB

Posts: 2; Member since: Jan 13, 2019

domfonusr, court cases are supposed to be about the rule of law and not the politics of the proximate causes that may have led to a case. Don't think of it in terms of Qualcomm or Apple. If Qualcomm's business model of denying SEP licenses and "no license no chips" is deemed acceptable in US courts, many more will adopt it. Huawei in particular–with an extensive portfolio of 5G patents and a large chip division–is the best positioned to dominate (infrastructure, eek!) using practices that Qualcomm will have pioneered if they're allowed to stand. Regardless of what you think of Apple or Qualcomm, is that the world you want to live in?

6. oldskool50

Posts: 769; Member since: Mar 29, 2019

I think the issue is, you all get to stuck on words. Licensing just means paying. If Qualcomm says you have to pay 7.50 per chip, then that's the price. Whether they use the word licensing or buying. Buying usually means outright ownership in many cases. So licensing just means you are paying to use someone else tech. Which is exactly what Apple is doing. Apple isnt paying to own the modem, they are paying to use it. No matter how much you pay for an iPhone, you only own the phone, you sont own the software. You pay for the license of its use. The same as Microsoft has been doing with its products for years. So why is it a big deal cause Qualcomm is doing the same? Their modem or chips are their IP. In order to use their IP, you have to license it.

2. Alan01

Posts: 578; Member since: Mar 21, 2012

Very nice post Thanks for your comment. Regards, Alan

3. djcody

Posts: 221; Member since: Apr 17, 2013

I love my 401k going up for that reason

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