LG opposes Qualcomm’s request to stay injunction


LG opposes Qualcomm’s request to stay injunction

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South Korean smartphone maker LG Electronics has opposed Qualcomm’s request for a stay after a US court found Qualcomm had violated antitrust laws.

In a filing at the US District Court for the Northern District of California yesterday, June 11, LG said it would be unfairly disadvantaged if Qualcomm was to be granted a stay, as it is currently negotiating supply and patent licensing agreements with the chip supplier.

In a similar filing yesterday, the FTC also requested that the court deny the request for a stay while Qualcomm appeals.

It said the injunction was in the public interest and that a stay would “allow Qualcomm time to use anticompetitive practices to entrench its monopoly power in modem-chip markets”.

On May 21, the same court sided with the US Federal Trade Commission and said Qualcomm must renegotiate licencing agreements with its customers.

The court said Qualcomm’s “no licence, no chips” business practice gave the company an “unlawfully dominant position” in the market and ordered it to renegotiate its licencing deals on fairer terms.

As reported by WIPR, on May 28 Qualcomm requested the court to stay its decision because it planned to appeal. It said the injunction imposed by the court will require it to renegotiate many existing licences and offer “exhaustive licences” for its standard-essential patents (SEPs), which cover the manufacture of modem chips.

But, LG welcomed the court’s ruling. It said Qualcomm had continued to pressure LG to sign a patent licence in order to maintain access to Qualcomm’s chips, which it uses in its mobile phones.

It said its current agreement with Qualcomm ends on June 30, but if Qualcomm is granted a stay of the court’s decision, LG will have “no option” but to take out licence and supply agreements on Qualcomm’s terms.

LG said the decision “prohibits Qualcomm’s long-standing ‘no license no chip’ position, which Qualcomm has continuously raised during its license negotiations with LGE”.

Today, June 12, trade body The App Association also filed an amicus brief in opposition to Qualcomm’s request. 

In the brief, the association argued that “not only are Qualcomm’s claims of potential harm dubious, but they are also far outweighed by the irreparable harm associated with allowing Qualcomm to continue its SEP abuse during this critical stage of 5G market development”.

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Qualcomm, US Federal Trade Commission, LG Electronics, licence, mobile chips, antitrust, standard-essential patents