Lawyers for Qualcomm and the Federal Trade Commission, after weeks of arguments, have both rested their cases in a trial that could very well inform technological innovation, and America’s role in that innovation, for years to come.
The key issue in the case is the IP licensing rates Qualcomm charges for access to its massive catalog of standard-essential patents.
Qualcomm’s Executive Vice President and General Counsel released a statement after both sides rested: “The FTC hasn’t come close to meeting its burden of proof in this case. All real-world evidence presented at trial showed how Qualcomm’s years of R&D and innovation fostered competition, and growth for the entire mobile economy to the benefit of consumers around the world. Our licensing rates – which were set long before we had a chip business, and revalidated time and again – fairly and accurately reflect the value of our patent portfolio. Qualcomm’s technology has been the foundation of a thriving, competitive industry.”
For a more in-depth look at some of the key issues and implications of the trial, check out these analysis pieces:
- FTC vs. Qualcomm: A proxy for China vs. the USA? (Analyst Angle)
- FTC vs. Qualcomm: Is this what the war on innovation looks like? (Analyst Angle)
There’s a lot of complicated background here but, at the end of the day, Apple, which is separately involved in a number of legal disputes with Qualcomm around the world, is accusing the chipmaker of taking advantage of a perceived dominant market position to overcharge for IP licenses.
Or, as industry analyst Patrick Moorehead put it on Twitter: “HEADLINE: ‘Qualcomm Charged With Hurting Giant Company’s Feelings.” This is so funny I can’t stand it. Like the nerd kid picking on the poor bodybuilder and stealing its lunch money.” For more gold like that, follow #ftcqcom on Twitter.
And the licensing rate for those $1000-plus Apple iPhones? $7.50.