Automakers are suing Qualcomm over patentsAugust 25, 2020
A group of tech companies and automakers, including Tesla, Ford, Honda and Daimler, on Monday called on the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to file an appeal after losing
Earlier this month, a US court of appeal overturned a lower court ruling against Qualcomm, which makes technology for connecting devices to mobile data networks. The court also lifted the injunction that would have required Qualcomm to change its patent licensing practices.
Qualcomm has opposed the May 2019 ruling by US District Judge Lucy Koch of San Jose, California in a case brought by the FTC. The judge sided with the FTC, writing that Qualcomm’s practice of requiring phone manufacturers to sign patent licensing agreements before selling chips to them “stifles competition” and harms consumers.
Note that nowadays, automakers are increasingly installing chips in cars to connect them to the Internet, for which chip developers require them to sign patent agreements for communication standards such as 5G. The companies previously argued that prices for connected cars could rise if Qualcomm wins the case.
Qualcomm won an appeal against this decision in the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on August 11. In a letter sent on Monday, the automakers, as well as Qualcomm’s rivals Intel and MediaTek, urged the FTC to seek a full appellate court re-hearing.
“If allowed to remain in effect, the commission’s decision could destabilize the standards ecosystem by encouraging abuse of market power resulting from joint standards development,” – the group said in a statement.
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