Qualcomm was one of the major producer of the modern cellular technology, now Qualcomm has become a snidely Whiplash of the patent world. recently the FTC filed a legal brief arguing against the Qualcomm’s motion to dismiss the FTC’S case. unusually, the court has become amicus briefs opposing Qualcomm’s motion and supporting FTC’S case moving forward. in 1990, the major developer of CDMA( code division multiple access), it pushed hard to get CDMA adopted by vendors. as CDMA was largely Qualcomm’s proprietary technology, it actually had to agree to create the standard.
The FTC laid out Qualcomm’s predatory licensing tactics in its complaint. Instead of treating all companies the same, Qualcomm refuses to license to other chip makers so that it has a virtual monopoly on CDMA chips. And instead of licensing on FRAND terms, Qualcomm forces its customers to buy licenses they don’t need and massively overcharges them for those licenses. Qualcomm charges a percentage of the price of the entire device as the royalty, regardless of the device. In practice, this means that say, Apple pays far more for each new iPhone 7 than it pays for the iPhone 5, even though Apple licenses the exact same technology and the same chips from Qualcomm.
How does Qualcomm get away with this? Why would the market allow this? Qualcomm continues to take advantage of the fact that not all cell phone networks have been upgraded to 3G or better, meaning there are still many CDMA-only areas around the country. As a result, cell phones need to be backwards-compatible to work with CDMA networks.