Analysis

Ruling In FTC's Qualcomm Case Could Upend SEP Licensing

Law360 (May 22, 2019, 11:17 PM EDT) -- A California federal judge dealt Qualcomm a huge blow Tuesday by ruling that its model for licensing cellular modem chips is illegal, issuing a strongly worded opinion that dampens prospects for a likely appeal and could lead other players in the cellular industry to revisit their licensing practices.

The Federal Trade Commission, which challenged Qualcomm's licensing practices, scored a big win with the ruling, as U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh found that Qualcomm's licensing scheme for standard-essential patents covering cellular technology violated the Sherman Act.

The agency targeted the company's policies of not licensing to rival chip manufacturers and of requiring...

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