Intel Unloads On Qualcomm Over LTE Modem Rhetoric And IP Theft Accusations
Qualcomm is one of the biggest names in the mobile industry and makes chips and modems for smartphones, tablets, and other devices. Qualcomm also holds some of the most important patents in the industry and as such is has spent huge sums of money and time in litigation all around the world defending its IP against other manufacturers it claims are infringing on its patent portfolio. Most recently, Qualcomm sued Apple for allegedly sharing trade secrets with Intel. Apple and Qualcomm have been fighting in court for a long time, and Apple is known to be working to eliminate Qualcomm modems in favor of Intel modems for roadmap mobile devices.
Qualcomm claims that the only way Intel could build an LTE modem for smartphones is to infringe on patents it holds. Intel is having none of that apparently and its general counsel, Steve Rodgers, has published a statement lambasting Qualcomm and its claims. Rodgers says that Qualcomm uses anti-competitive practices around the globe, pointing to some massive fines as proof. Qualcomm has been fined $975 million in China, $850 million in Korea, $1.2 billion by the European Commission, and $773 million in Taiwan (the latter case settled for a lesser fine). Rodgers points to all these fines as proof that Qualcomm is employing anti-competitive measures in markets around the world, the same anti-competitive measures it is using against Apple and Intel right now.
Rodgers also notes that Qualcomm has publicly disparaged Intel products and claimed that the only way Intel could have made some of its innovations is by stealing Qualcomm ideas. Rodgers says that Intel has a history of being a global technology innovator for over 50 years and notes that Intel's scientists and engineers "push the boundaries of computing and communication technologies" every day. He also points out that last year the U.S. Patent Office awarded more patents to Intel than Qualcomm.
In conclusion, Rodgers notes that Intel normally responds to accusations of the sort that Qualcomm has leveled, in court, rather than in public. This time out Intel went public to point out that Qualcomm has brought similar claims against other companies that were defeated in court this week. Qualcomm failed to win a case on 88 patent claims that it alleged were being infringed on by a competitor. In that case, the judge found, "considerable, compelling common proof" that Qualcomm has required companies it works with "to accept a separate license to Qualcomm’s cellular [standard essential patents] in order to gain access to Qualcomm’s modem chips." Intel says that this policy of "no license, no chips" is a major part of the anti-competitive practices that Qualcomm leverages globally.