11 January 2017
Qualcomm has confirmed that it has settled the patent dispute with the Chinese smartphone maker Meizu. The legal battle over patent infringement was going on between the two for quite some time. During the battle, Qualcomm filed over 17 patent-related complaints against Meizu in various parts of the world.
While the exact details of the agreement are unknown at the moment, both companies did appear satisfied with it. Meizu's president Bai Yongxiang said that the deal would add significant value to both users and shareholders. As from Qualcomm's perspective, the agreement makes sense in the way it has been looking for ways to set up its patent-licensing deals in China which already includes deals with the likes of Gionee.
But it is also worth mentioning that Qualcomm's licensing practices have been under scrutiny for antitrust issues in many regions like the U.S., Europe, and China. One of the main reasons includes its approach of licensing the technology and processors only to smartphone manufacturers. This leaves other small chipmakers behind when it comes to having access to the latest tech. The leading chipset maker is also notoriously known for charging royalties on the basis of the price of the each smartphone unit sold instead of the component used. It was fined $854 million in South Korea for such anti-competitive business policies.
A big part of Qualcomm's revenue comes from the licensing deals related to its chipsets. Other than Meizu and Gionee, it has deals with Xiaomi and Huawei in China which helped it accumulate $13.4 billion this year which is the 57% of its total revenue.