Qualcomm CEO: We think we’ll be successful in our fight with Apple

“Even as a series of anti-trust investigations and an ugly pricing dispute with Apple Inc. threaten its lucrative licensing business, Qualcomm Inc. is looking aggressively ahead to its future opportunities,” Brian Sozzi reports for TheStreet.

“Chief among them, of course, is its planned acquisition of NXP Semiconductors, the leader in producing semiconductors for the automotive industry,” Sozzi reports. “The antri-trust investigations and disputes with Apple and at least one other major cell phone maker have taken some wind out of Qualcomm’s sails, with its stock price declining about 22% in the past year. But its CEO, Steven Mollenkopf, who took over the company from the founder’s son in 2014, is nothing if not an optimist.”

TheStreet: Where do things stand with your licensing disputes with Apple?

Mollenkopf: I would say we have both stated our positions. We are in the process of executing the legal strategies on both sides. I like to describe it as if you are watching a movie and you only watch five minutes of the movie, you really can’t tell what’s going on with the plot. That’s probably what people are seeing. But at the end, we are defending our existing contract that we have had in place for a very long time. We think we will be successful. We think it will take time to do that.

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We’ll have what Steven’s having!

Your free ride on Apple’s gravy train is nearing the end of the line, Qualcomm.

Qualcomm’s FRAND abuse must not stand. Qualcomm’s licensing scam — charging a percentage of the total cost of all components in the phone, even non-Qualcomm components — is unreasonable, illogical, and irrational.

Apple pays Qualcomm $2 billion a year in patent fees and Cupertino has had enough – October 4, 2017
Apple faces down Qualcomm, Ericsson over EU patent fees – October 2, 2017
Qualcomm loses two key rulings in its patent royalty fight with Apple – September 21, 2017
Apple’s A11 Bionic obliterates top chips from Qualcomm, Samsung and Huawei – September 18, 2017
U.S. judge rules Apple lawsuits against Qualcomm can proceed – September 8, 2017
Qualcomm CEO expects out of court settlement with Apple – July 18, 2017
Apple-Qualcomm legal dispute likely to be ‘long and ugly’ – July 7, 2017
Qualcomm wants court to block Apple from U.S. iPhone imports and sales – July 6, 2017
Judge rules U.S. FTC antitrust lawsuit against Qualcomm to proceed – June 27, 2017
Apple uses Supreme Court decision to escalate war against Qualcomm – June 20, 2017
Apple’s amended San Diego complaint against Qualcomm leaves no doubt: many billions at stake – June 20, 2017
Apple rejects Qualcomm’s allegation of throttling iPhones, says ‘study’ is ‘methodologically unsound’ – June 20, 2017
Apple just poached one of Qualcomm’s top guys – May 31, 2017


    1. How many have fallen in the wasteland of Apple’s former victims, from Dell’s famous “sell it’s assets and give the money to the shareholders”, to the “I give Apple stores 2 years before they shut down this expensive experiment”, to Palm, to so many countless others who all said essentially the same thing and went splat.

  1. I look forward to Apple unleashing its chip designers to make the use of Qualcomm anything in their phones a non-starter. A real possibility I would think.

    1. Sorry, but this fight isn’t about Qualcomm hardware, but about the Qualcomm software patents that are embedded into the standards that allow any device (whether with Qualcomm, Intel, or Apple chips) to connect to a cell network.

      Developing alternative chips is not a solution to this problem, unless Apple wants to build an alternative national network that doesn’t use any legacy equipment or connect to any existing devices, so it can avoid the standards using Qualcomm’s patents.

      This is purely a question about how much Apple and other device manufacturers are going to pay Qualcomm for using these patents that they cannot avoid. Unless the parties settle, a court is going to be answering that question by setting a fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory price.

      1. They can avoid paying Qualcomm for their FRAND patents on Qualcomm’s non-FRAND terms. Apple isn’t disputing that they have to pay a patent holder for their patents, they are disputing the FRAND abuse.

      2. twimoon1,

        That’s exactly what I was trying to say. You and I understand, but there is a lot of confusion on this thread, partly generated by MDN’s repeated complaint that Qualcomm is “charging a percentage of the total cost of all components in the phone, even non-Qualcomm components.” That suggests to many readers that the royalties are for the use of Qualcomm components and not for the use of the software patents, which is independent of who made the chips.

        I absolutely agree that Qualcomm’s pricing scheme is not fair, reasonable, OR nondiscriminatory. The courts need to slap them down. Further, they need to reexamine the whole issue of software patents for algorithms (as opposed to copyrights on code) when the patented process cannot be avoided, but must be either licensed or infringed. Qualcomm is a bad actor.

        However, it is important to understand why they are claiming that their asking price is OK and FRAND. Qualcomm is asserting that they are entitled to a percentage of the added value that the use of their patents gives to a device that uses them. In other words, they demand a fixed part of the difference between the value of the actual device using the patents and the value of a hypothetical device that is non-infringing. That can be determined by simple subtraction, they argue.

        Think about that a second. The patents in question are built into the standards used by every cellphone network in the world. What is the market value of a cellular device that cannot connect to any existing cellular network? Zero. What happens when you subtract zero from the cost of an iPhone? You get the full price of the device, less Apple’s markup. Hence the demand that Qualcomm is entitled to a percentage of that amount.

        That sounds ridiculous, but it isn’t a bad argument for how to calculate the measure of damages in an intellectual property infringement case. That’s why the courts didn’t throw Qualcomm out on the street when this dispute first arose. I’m hopeful that the judges can find some other figure that genuinely is FRAND.

  2. Isn’t Qualcomm on notice from Apple, that Apple is developing its own chips to replace Qualcomm’s?
    Or this that someone else I’m thinking 💭 of?

    1. Let us count all those times when lawyers have said to their mega-rich clients that the expensive dispute which they are about to embark on is unlikely to succeed.

      … still trying to think of one …

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