Qualcomm, Motorola Settle Patent Litigation

Qualcomm and Motorola have resolved differences and agreed to drop three years worth of pending patent infringement litigation, Qualcomm announced yesterday.

Along with ending the lawsuits, Qualcomm and Motorola also agreed to return to a 1990 agreement on cross-licensing and co-development of CDMA (code division multiple access) technology, used in digital wireless phone networks, Qualcomm said in a written statement.

No payments are being made under the terms of the settlement, Qualcomm said.

The lawsuits date back to March 1997, when Motorola brought suit to stop wireless technology vendor Qualcomm from selling the Q phone, claiming patent infringement. Motorola alleged that the design of Qualcomm's Q cellular phone infringed on two of its patents. The design of Q was too close to Motorola's own StarTAC, known for its clamshell design, Motorola charged. Suits and countersuits quickly ensued.

As part of the settlement, Qualcomm and Motorola have also agreed to a three-year moratorium on any further CDMA-related lawsuits, Qualcomm said.

The companies will return to their original royalty-bearing license agreement, which covers "certain patents" for CDMA applications filed before July 3, 1995, Qualcomm said. Also original to the 1990 agreement, Qualcomm and Motorola are free to market CDMA-related technology without having to pay royalties to each other based on chipset sales, though Motorola will pay royalties to Qualcomm in line with industry standards for using newly licensed patents, Qualcomm said.

Because Qualcomm has sold its subscriber and infrastructure businesses since the 1990 agreement was made, the related licenses sold by Motorola to Qualcomm have been made void, Qualcomm said.

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