Samsung, Intel Tell Court That Qualcomm Abused FRAND Patents To Eliminate Competition

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falchard

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What Qualcomm is doing is perfectly legal. The logic behind the anti-trust cases are flawed. I think the wins against Qualcomm just show national bias. Like Samsung winning in South Korea, and Apple winning in California. In the technology space, there are those who push the technology forward and get patents for their work. Companies like IBM, Microsoft, and Qualcomm. Then there are companies that license their patents to develop their hardware, like Intel, Apple, and Samsung. Going after a company like Qualcomm over a modest fee for using their patents is just a stepping stone to reducing costs for using technology developed by other companies and undermines this type of trading. If Qualcomm where to lose these cases, expect Microsoft to also be sued for the same thing. Eventually leading up to these companies keeping their technology in-house instead of letting other companies use their patents.
 

mrmez

Splendid
Is it, tho???

BlackBerry, Apple, Samsung, Intel, Broadcom, EU, USA, Japan, S.Korea, China v. Qualcomm...
The numbers are stacking against them for the exact same thing, are they all wrong and QC's lawyers just can't catch a break?
 

falchard

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When a company wins a case like Blackberry did against Qualcomm, everyone comes out of the woodworks to get their share.
To put it simply Qualcomm developed such a superior technology that these companies felt they cannot compete in the marketplace using an alternative. Qualcomm asks for a cut based on the edge they provide, and these companies refuse to give them that cut yet still want to use their superior technology. The only one with a mild grievance would be Intel and competing modem makers as they make such an inferior product they cannot compete.
 

vaughn2k

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Intel finally get to taste its own medicine when they kept their technology away from nVidia for developing chipsets and IGP for Intel motherboards (March 2010)..
 

mrmez

Splendid
All comes back to FRAND, which I believe is legally binding?
As far as I understand, QC charges Apple (for example) more for it's patents than it does other companies. Royalties also based on phone value. So buy a phone with a bigger screen or capacity, and QC gets more money.

Furthermore the 'handset tax' charges Apple a royalty even if the phone has no QC hardware.
Other agreements prevented Apple from using competing technology (wimax).
All this adds up to something that is not fair or reasonable.

If you read into the history it's pretty dirty and complicated.

The human race is largely where it is because we've been able to work together and cooperate. FRAND is a good way of saying it's not a case of 'money over everything.'
 

InvalidError

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When a company like BB wins a FRAND, over-reaching or anti-competitive licensing agreement dispute against a vendor like Qualcomm, everyone else stuck with such an agreement comes out of the woodworks because they don't want to continue over-paying for their similar license agreements with that same provider now that there is a court precedent saying that this vendor has been involved in unfair, unjust, unreasonable licensing. Being stuck with an inflated "Qualcomm tax" when your competitors aren't puts you at a competitive disadvantage.

Why should Apple owe anything to Qualcomm on products that don't use any Qualcomm chips or IP-cores? When Apple picks a competitor's chip, whatever applicable royalties to Qualcomm's patents are already built into that other chip's price, there is no reason for Apple to pay twice for the same thing. Companies shouldn't be able to double-dip on patent royalties.
 

toadhammer

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I forget what they own for LTE, but for CDMA I think it included codecs. (Ever try to play a pc video and have to hunt down the right codec?) The spec does have negotiation between the two ends, but you would only get the best transmission rate using their codec and compatible equipment at the far end (tower <-> phone). That also impacts voice quality and battery life. Small example, and you can work around it. Now imaging they own the method for spreading the radio signal across multiple frequencies. The other end either knows how to pick the pieces out of the air, or it doesn't. No negotiation. When you own that patent and it's chosen as the standard, everyone has to pay you.
 

toadhammer

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The problem comes from the lifecycle of telecom standards and how they are managed. Qualcom had a big background in satellite communication, so they were in a good position to propose a new cellular standard (CDMA) back in the late 80's, early 90's. It got chosen, and rolled out, and they are locked in as sort of a monopoly owner of the technology.

When the next round of standards comes out, carriers want old and new to work side by side while they are rolling them out. So the next round of standards includes backward compatibility aspects that keep aspects of the monopoly alive. Plus, some of it is just good design, so it is incorporated into the next design, maybe tweaked a bit, so that restarts the clock on the intellectual property. Oh, and maybe this next round of standards is also done by Qualcom, so now they end up with a monopoly on a whole new generation of the technology, along with everything else.

Part of the problem goes back to our patent system. But the telecom associations could solve it, make it part of the rollout of a new standard that the chosen technology automatically goes public domain after a fixed period of time, or has to be transfered to the association instead of held by the original developer. One example sort of like this - the GSM standards from europe have always been documents you can download for free. The CDMA documents from the US have always been something you must pay for.
 

bloodroses

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Nvidia quit making chipsets, motherboards, and IGPs for x86 because it became no longer profitable. As a result they no longer wanted to pay for the x86 license. This eventually turned into a lawsuit as Nvidia planned to use the x86 license for the development of project Denver because they wanted to make an Intel Architecture Emulator.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4122/intel-settles-with-nvidia-more-money-fewer-problems-no-x86/2

The whole Intel vs Nvidia issue stemmed in the first place when AMD/ATI merged. This caused their popular Nforce chipset to eventually become flops and Intel/Nvidia talked about doing the same but fell through. Intel started working on Larrabee at that point, and Nvidia on Ion and Denver. It has been bloody war between all 3 of them since...

http://www.overclock.net/a/nvidia-turning-friends-into-enemies
 

Bloob

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Abusing FRAND patents is pretty tame compared to Intel's past.
 

blppt

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"Abusing FRAND patents is pretty tame compared to Intel's past."

Depends on how you define tame--Intel paid or "suggested" big PC Vendors like Dell not use AMD chips for years. That likely cost hundreds of millions in sales for their (really only) competitor in the x86 market.
 

InvalidError

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Before Intel stamped out x86 competition, there used to be a bunch of x86 chip vendors on the market: AMD, Cyrix, VIA, SiS, Transmeta, NexGen and a few more minor ones. All but AMD have disappeared from the visible market over 10 years ago in large part thanks to legal and market pressure from Intel.

The main thing that saved AMD from getting kicked out of the x86 market ~20 years ago was the DoJ reminding Intel that the US government cannot do business with a monopoly, effectively forcing Intel to quit pestering AMD about not having the right to continue using the x86 ISA.

I'd say Intel was quite brutal and effective in those more competitive days.
 

falchard

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They aren't paying twice. Their hardware source is paying the royalty for using Qualcomm IPs and rolling the cost into their product.
 

InvalidError

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That's not what happens when Qualcomm charges royalties directly to phone manufacturers even when they are not using Qualcomm chips or IP cores in their product.
 
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