Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Judge Koh Grants Partial Summary Judgment to the FTC

Earlier today, in the FTC's lawsuit against Qualcomm, Judge Lucy Koh granted the FTC's motion for partial summary judgment on the issue of whether Qualcomm is obligated, as a matter of California contract law, to license its SEPs to rival chip makers on FRAND terms, in accordance with  the TIA and ATIS IPR policies.  Opinion here.  From the opinion:
For all of the above reasons, the Court agrees with the FTC that as a matter of law, the TIA and ATIS IPR policies both require Qualcomm to license its SEPs to modem chip suppliers. Because “after considering the language of the contract and any admissible extrinsic evidence, the meaning of the contract is unambiguous,” the Court GRANTS the FTC’s motion for partial summary judgment (p.25).
This doesn't necessarily mean that the FTC will prevail in proving that Qualcomm's conduct violates U.S. antitrust law, but the holding that Qualcomm was contractually obligated to license these rivals helps the FTC's case.

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