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Intel accuses Qualcomm-Intel has accused Qualcomm of abusing its de facto monopoly in the world of LTE modems and of failing to comply with the law in granting technology licenses, preventing proper functioning of the market.

In a time that seems particularly difficult for Qualcomm, Intel also has joined the chorus of companies that oppose the manufacturer of San Diego. The historian processor manufacturer has held that the competitor would illegally exploiting its monopoly position and would be trying to eliminate competition by using its patents.

At the heart of the dispute are the so-called “standard essentials” patients – those patents that are essential to creating standards-based products. To make a practical example, there are patents requiring a license to produce devices that are compatible with WiFi, Bluetooth, and 4G LTE standards. Such patents must be licensed under FRAND terms – an acronym which stands for Fair, Reasonable And Non-Discriminatory (fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory). Licensees must be put on the same plane and have to pay an amount that is fair and similar for all, so as to not discriminate and that they can not abuse the power granted by patents. It would be easy, for example,

Apple, which derives all the current situation, claims that Qualcomm would be abusing its position, requiring much higher payments than the due – according to the Santa Clara company, license fees at Qualcomm are five times those of To all other patents who have acquired a license. The FRAND terms imposed by law would therefore not be respected. This aspect is fundamental, as it is also linked to what Intel is challenging.

An important element of the matter would be the Qualcomm request from Apple to no longer use LTE modems manufactured by Intel to use, instead, those produced by her. This claim is the backbone of Qualcomm’s alleged competition practices, along with offers to lower license fees if Apple has opted to use Qualcomm’s exclusive chip.

Such agreements would undermine Intel’s ability to remain in the LTE modem market, already monopolized by Qualcomm with an absolute majority shareholding. Intel is, in fact, the last competitor left after NVIDIA has acquired Icera and then closed the division after being fundamentally excluded from the smartphone and tablet processor market.

According to Intel, however, Qualcomm would not have asked Apple to initiate investigations into its non-payment of licenses, but to exclude Intel from the market. As you can read in the statement released by the company, “Qualcomm has not started this investigation to put an end to the alleged violation of its patents, its cause is rather a transparent tendency to eliminate the legal competition of Qualcomm’s only rivals.”

Qualcomm is not new to this kind of accusation and it is curious to note how you can draw similarities with Intel , which similarly abused its position to crush any competition between the 1990s and the first decade of the 2000s.

The ITC, the International Trade Commission, is investigating the case and will investigate the case in August, while the trial will take place next year.

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