Qualcomm amends patent agreement with Samsung

02 Feb 2018

Chipmaker Qualcomm has announced a new amended patent cross-licensing agreement with Samsung that could help the operator avoid paying nearly $1 billion in fines.

The two companies have also forged multi-year strategic relationship agreement covering collaboration on various mobile technology areas aimed at facilitating the transition to 5G.

As a result of the new agreement, Samsung has agreed to withdraw its court interventions related to Qualcomm's appeal of the 1.03 trillion won ($957.9 million) fine imposed on the chipmaker by South Korea's Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) for alleged anti-competitive practices.

KFTC meted out the fine after finding Qualcomm to be in violation of Korean competition law with its licensing practices for key mobile chipset patents. The regulator had accused Qualcomm of abusing its dominant market position by compelling handset makers to pay royalties on patents they do not need as part of sales of modem chipsets.

Qualcomm has enjoyed a strong partnership with Samsung for many years, and we are pleased to further strengthen and extend our relationship through this amended cross-license agreement, alongside our continuing relationship as a key product supplier to Samsung,” Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf said.

“We believe this amended agreement provides the foundation for a long-term, stable relationship with Samsung following the KFTC investigation,” added Qualcomm Technology Licensing president Alex Rogers.

Qualcomm vowed to appeal the decision and subsequently filed legal action against the KFTC. As part of its decision, the KFTC had ordered Qualcomm to renegotiate supply agreements with Korean handset manufacturers if requested.

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