Arm sues Qualcomm, in attempt to unwind Qualcomm’s $1.4 billion Nuvia purchase

Arm Ltd, which is owned by Softbank Group Corp, this week sued Qualcomm and Qualcomm’s recently acquired chip design firm Nuvia for breach of license agreements and trademark infringement.

Arm Ltd. logo

Stephen Nellis and Jane Lanhee Lee for Reuters:

Arm is seeking an injunction that would require Qualcomm to destroy designs developed under Nuvia’s license agreements with Arm. Arm alleged its approval was needed before these could be transferred to Qualcomm… If Arm’s effort is successful it would essentially unwind one of Qualcomm’s biggest strategic acquisitions in recent years…

Qualcomm bought Nuvia, founded by former Apple chip architects, to reboot its efforts to make custom computing cores that would be different from standard Arm designs used by rivals such as Taiwan chip designer MediaTek Inc.

One of Qualcomm’s first goals with Nuvia’s technology is to challenge Intel Corp and Advanced Micro Devices Inc in the PC and laptop markets which they now dominate. Qualcomm acquired Nuvia shortly after Apple ditched Intel to begin using its own chips, which are also based on Arm technology, in its Mac[s].

MacDailyNews Take: If any company deserves to be sued, it’s Qualcomm.

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  1. I knew a guy who worked at Qualcomm in the 90s. He left as the company became more “corporatized.” He said (and I paraphrase), “When these companies start, you have a group of young engineers, working on cutting edge products. It’s a fun place to work. But at some point the bean counters step in. They cut products which aren’t immediately generating revenue, then focus on a certain set of products. At that point, instead of innovating, you focus on iterating (eg- creating slightly modified versions of a chip each year), which is boring if you are an engineer . . . In addition, a number of the guys who were there at the beginning, cash in their stock options and leave the company” . . . . . . I always keep this story in mind, when I hear that Qualcomm is in another “legal” battle over a patent. They are far removed from the innovative company they once were.

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