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US: Microsoft, Intel attack Qualcomm patent fee business model

 |  December 3, 2014

A proposal backed by technology giants including Microsoft and Intel is fighting what they consider excessive licensing fees charged by owners of standard Wi-Fi patents, a move experts say would upend the business model used by Qualcomm, the world’s largest chipmaker.

According to reports, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers is being urged to adopt the proposal that would limit standard essential patent owners, like Qualcomm, in litigating to block product sales from companies that implement those patents without paying licensing fees.

Qualcomm legal representatives say the entire proposal is “more an attack on Qualcomm’s business model and licensing model,” adding that attacking the company’s licensing operations puts it at a competitive disadvantage.

But according to the policy backers – Microsoft, Intel, Apple, Hewlett-Packard and Broadcom – the new rules would curb excessive litigation related to patent licensing. The companies have cited cases launched by competition authorities across the globe that have reviewed complaints filed against owners of standard patents, which are often accusing of demanding excessive licensing fees.

The case will see the IEEE standards board considering what constitutes a “reasonable” licensing fee for the first time, according to reports. The board could place limits on what patent owners can demand from licensees.

The IEEE is may vote on the matter as early as this weekend, though the decision will be reviewed by its board of directors as well as the Department of Justice.

Full content: Oregon Live

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