Qualcomm wins partial stay in antitrust case; orals set for January

Qualcomm
Qualcomm won a partial stay of a lower court ruling and will appeal the antitrust judgment in January. (Qualcomm)

A U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Friday granted a partial stay of a lower court antitrust judgment against Qualcomm over its patent licensing practices.

U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh ruled in May, siding with the Federal Trade Commission, that Qualcomm had violated anti-competition laws by charging excessive licensing fees and unreasonably high royalties for its patents. 

“We are pleased that the Ninth Circuit (Court of Appeals) granted our request and believe the district court decision will be overturned once the merits of our appeal have been considered,” said Don Rosenberg, general counsel for Qualcomm in a statement.

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He noted that the stay remains in effect throughout the appeals process and keeps Qualcomm’s patent-licensing practices intact. Qualcomm will be allowed to continue to invest in fundamental technologies, he added.

The Ninth Circuit also ordered oral argument on Qualcomm’s expedited appeal to be set for January.

On Qualcomm’s latest earnings call on July 31, Rosenberg had argued that the Departments of Energy, Justice and Defense had all supported Qualcomm’s motion for the stay.

At the time, he said there was a “fairly wide consensus that Judge Koh’s order is erroneous in many respects,” adding that Qualcomm thinks it will win the appeal. “Our chances are very good.”

RELATED: Qualcomm asks U.S. appeals court to put antitrust judgment on hold 

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