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Qualcomm Cross-Licenses With Samsung

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In a bid to sidestep some legal woes Qualcomm refreshes its cross-licensing agreement with Samsung-- leading to Samsung "withdrawing" interventions in a Qualcomm appeal of a Korean Fair Trade decision in the Seoul High Court.

Qualcomm SamsungTwo years ago the Korean Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) fined Qualcomm to the tune of $845 million for forcing phone makers to pay royalties "for an unnecessarily broad set of patents." It also limited access to patents to rival chipmakers, hindering fair competition.

“We believe this amended agreement provides the foundation for a long-term, stable relationship with Samsung following the KFTC investigation,” Qualcomm says. “With our portfolio of leading technology inventions, we are committed to driving growth for the global ecosystem and we look forward to an expanded business relationship with Samsung.”

Through the agreement, Samsung and Qualcomm will be working on processors facilitating a "transition to 5G"-- a deal Qualcomm already has with a number of Chinese smartphone vendors, including Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo. It also brings about a change in the way Samsung pays royalties to Qualcomm, which will be paid according to handset sales, rather than chip purchases.

Patching things up with Samsung is important for Qualcomm, since it is currently facing a hostile takeover bid from Broadcom. The rival chipmaker is smelling blood from the Qualcomm side, the result of both the various legal woes and ailing chip sales from a weakening Chinese smartphone market.

Go Qualcomm and Samsung Amend Long-Term Cross-License Agreement