Qualcomm must license patents to competing chipmakers, court rules

Qualcomm was dealt a major loss in one of its many ongoing legal battles this afternoon, with a federal court ruling that the company must license its modem patents to competing chipmakers, potentially weakening its stranglehold on the market.

The ruling came out of a Federal Trade Commission lawsuit against Qualcomm, which was filed near the start of 2017. The crux of the lawsuit — whether Qualcomm used anti-competitive practices to maintain a monopoly over smartphone modems — isn’t being ruled on here. But the court did hone in on a single question at issue: whether Qualcomm has to license standard essential patents to competitors.

The court ruled it “unambiguous” that Qualcomm was wrong

In this case, the court ruled it does. Qualcomm…

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