Judge: Qualcomm must license modem tech to rivals like Intel

It won't be allowed to wait for an antitrust settlement.

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Jon Fingas
November 6, 2018 9:24 PM
Ramon Costa/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
Ramon Costa/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Qualcomm isn't having much luck defending itself against the FTC's antitrust lawsuit. US federal Judge Lucy Koh has ruled that Qualcomm must license some of the patents in its cellular modems to rival chip manufacturers. Qualcomm and the FTC had previously asked Koh to delay the ruling for up to 30 days while the two sides negotiated a possible settlement, but the judge denied that motion.

We've asked Qualcomm for comment.

There's a good chance Qualcomm isn't happy about the move, though. The wireless chip firm is embroiled in a longstanding patent royalty dispute with Apple, and has even accused the iPhone maker of feeding trade secrets to Intel. Now, it might not have much choice but to supply some of those secrets to the competition, possibly including Intel and Samsung. And when Qualcomm has lost and settled some antitrust cases in other parts of the world, an FTC settlement might not provide much relief.

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