Qualcomm to Appeal $865M Fine by South Korea's Fair Trade Commission
Qualcomm says it will appeal what it calls an "unprecedented and insupportable decision" by the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) to impose a 1.03 trillion Won (US$865 million) fine on the chip giant for violation of Korean competition laws.
The KFTC has ruled that Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM) is guilty of "abuse of market dominance" by refusing to license or restricting the licensing of cellular standard essential patents (SEPs) to other modem chipset vendors. See this translated ruling announcement for the full details.
But Qualcomm says it will "file for an immediate stay of the corrective order and appeal the KFTC’s decision to the Seoul High Court" and appeal the size of the fine when the KFTC issues a "written decision and order" that makes its ruling effective.
Qualcomm says it "strongly disagrees with the KFTC's announced decision, which Qualcomm believes is inconsistent with the facts and the law, reflects a flawed process and represents a violation of due process rights owed American companies under the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (KORUS)." Full details of Qualcomm's response to the ruling can be found in this official statement.
Qualcomm, which holds the vast majority of intellectual property related to mobile chipsets, is no stranger to patent licensing disputes -- it has just resolved a dispute with Chinese manufacturer Meizu -- and is currently engaged in a battle of cellular patent wills as part of the IP Europe lobby group as 5G developments place an even greater demand on such intellectual property. (See Patents Prizefight Pending: Clash of the Tech Titans.)
— Ray Le Maistre, , Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading